FTA expresses disappointment over ULEZ

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has expressed disappointment with the London Mayor’s Office’s revised plans to extend and bring forward the ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) in London.

Under the new proposals only lorries that meet the Euro-VI requirements will be allowed on London’s roads from 2019. Prior to this announcement the FTA had warned that the introduction of the ULEZ would only be feasible for the central London area in 2020.

The London mayor Sadiq Khan announced a public consultation for his plans on July 5th.

FTA head of policy Christopher Snelling said: “We stated before that the central ULEZ starting in 2019 and expanding in 2020 would cause significant issues – especially in the van sector where there will only be two-and-a-half to three years’ worth of compliant vehicles in the fleet. Typically, operators who rely on second-hand vehicles buy at four years old so it will place significant cost burdens on them.”

Now the mayor has suggested that the ULEZ expansion to inner London for vans and Greater London for HGVs could happen in 2019.  Mr Snelling said: “Bringing this further forward only adds to the cost on small businesses.  Those using, or relying on, vans in inner London will now face a situation where there are no second hand vehicles available to purchase.”

The FTA estimates that to comply with these proposals, the average small operator with five vans will need more than £100,000 to comply – more than 150% of the company’s annual turnover. The regulation could lock small businesses out of London altogether as a result.

Mr Snelling concluded: “No-one disputes the need to improve air quality.  Once again what we do object to is the one-sided nature of these measures – all burden and no support.  London could improve air quality more quickly and reduce the burden on businesses at the same time by offering a temporary discount to the congestion charge for compliant vehicles prior to the ULEZ starting.  The government has said it has no interest in a scrappage scheme and we see no prospect of that changing.”
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