The UK clean air debate is accelerating at a dizzying pace. Now it’s Greater Manchester’s turn to weigh in. This city region is one of a growing list of conurbations planning to implement a so-called clean air zone (CAZ). These schemes aim to limit the harm that noxious emissions have on urban populations.
In making these plans, Manchester is following suit with London’s advanced rollout of its vast ultra-low emissions zone (or ULEZ) of which the first phase starts in April 2019.
‘This Is Not A Congestion Charge’
Said Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham. Instead, he claims:
‘This is a balanced package of measures to clean up our air without punishing businesses or deprived communities.’
The proposals currently under consideration by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) mean that a new GM CAZ could be in place by 2023. It aims to charge HGVs, buses, taxis and vans for travelling in the city region if they are not compliant with NO2 emissions standards.
The scheme will take in all ten GM boroughs making it one of the most significant CAZ schemes in the UK. It will require polluting buses and lorries to pay a £100 per day clean air levy. Taxis and vans will be charged £7.50 per day.
Interestingly, the charge will not apply to private vehicles that, according to Friends of the Earth, are a primary cause of inner-city congestion and harmful emissions.
Pause For Thought
Plans submitted to the GMCA for consideration include an assessment of the impact the scheme will have on the GM economy. In order to be implemented, the clean air legislation would have to be agreed by all ten of GM’s local authorities.
The rollout would also require a Government support package of up to £100m to implement the infrastructure necessary to administer such a massive scheme.
Regular readers will have seen our piece on the readiness of the UK transport sector to cope with the changes that CAZ schemes will have on our industry. With an estimated 50% of vehicles currently unable to comply with this kind of legislation it will have a considerable impact on the sector.
And while the commercial vehicle industry is consistently looking for ways to save fuel and create innovative ways to cut emissions, the new clean air schemes mean that these changes need to come at a much faster pace.
Forward Thinking Technology
Woe betides the fleet manager who sticks their head in the sand and ignores these developments. It’s obvious the clean air agenda is here to stay. The key to the transport sector is to plan, understand the impacts, and make the necessary changes. That will include driver training, strategic investment in vehicle fleets and some innovative thinking such as the creation of out of town commercial hubs.
For our part, Truckcraft Bodies are at the forefront of developing CAZ-friendly vehicles fitted with TRAILAR solar systems. Not only will these advanced vehicles save you fuel but they could save you a truckload of money as you encounter the growing number of towns and cities that are embracing the clean air agenda.
If you’d like more information on our CAZ-compliant truck body portfolio contact the Truckcraft Bodies sales team on 0161 304 9404. Alternatively, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published: Apr 10