we assume readers will be very familiar with the term CAZ. The
acronym for a Clean Air Zone. It applies to the ongoing push to clean
up the air in UK cities by imposing strict emission charges. London
is leading the way with its extensive ULEZ zone phase-one of which
launched in April of this year. London’s scheme builds on years of
congestion charging for which there is already an extensive
infrastructure in place.
looked at from afar Clean Air Zones make sense. Air quality in our
towns and cities is becoming dangerous. Emissions are on the
increase, and the impacts on residents’ health are already becoming
apparent. Little wonder that cities like Leeds, Birmingham and
Manchester is following London’s example and developing CAZ
schemes of their own. In theory at least.
with CAZs is they are complicated and costly to implement. Unlike
London, cities like Leeds and Birmingham don’t have the base
infrastructure from which to build their Clean Air Zone regimes. And
it seems this penny has dropped in the case of Leeds and Birmingham.
Maybe that’s why they have decided to delay the implementation of
their plans until the implications are better understood.
underlying thought is that it would be morally irresponsible to
impose ill-conceived Clean Air Zone schemes that cause untold chaos
to businesses and delivery firms.
Snelling Head of UK Policy at the FTA summarised this situation well
when he said:
you support CAZs or not, we can all agree that regulations must have
the systems in place to make them work. Leeds and Birmingham have
done the right thing. Indeed they are taking the only course of
action available to them. The government needs to develop these
systems ASAP and demonstrate they are reliable and accurate – only
then should Councils definitively commit to start dates for any Clean
this decision is an acknowledgement of the detrimental effects that
CAZ scheme could have on Leeds and Birmingham businesses and the
delivery sector. While cities like Manchester are doing a public consultation of their proposed system, it’s unlikely any Clean Air
Zone scheme will have a neutral effect.
these impacts are understood fully, the implementation of any CAZ
scheme represents a risk to the sometimes-fragile retail economies of
UK cities. Leeds and Birmingham’s decision to delay is an
all-too-rare example of common sense prevailing. Perhaps other UK
cities will have a similar change of heart.
In The Market
this change in direction for Birmingham and Leeds will come as a
relief to delivery firms, it will only be a temporary reprieve. The
UK has recently signed up to challenging global eco-targets, so the
issue is not going away.
it does offer the delivery sector a chance to clean up their act in
an orderly manner. There’s now a gap in which the industry can make
some critical strategic investments in CAZ-friendly vehicles like
Truckcraft’s TRAILAR-enabled van range. Depending on how long these
plans are delayed, it could mean when they do come to fruition,
delivery firms will have a CAZ-friendly fleet and will not have to
make some knee-jerk business decisions.
still, the delivery sector can then have a clear conscience safe in
the knowledge it’s making a clear contribution to cleaner air in
the UK’s towns and cities.
For more information on our clean-air-zone-friendly delivery trucks and vans, please contact the Truckcraft Bodies sales team on 0161 304 9404. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Published: Jul 17