FTA hits out at ULEZ expansion

The Freight Transport Association has released a disgruntled statement over the plans to extend the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in 2021.

Thanks to the announcement by the London Mayor’s office including support from delivery company Hermes, the FTA complained that while the bigger players may have the vehicles to meet the ULEZ requirements, SMEs may suffer.

The ULEZ is already due to start in central London in April 2019. Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “An expanded Ultra-Low Emission Zone, in conjunction with the Central London ULEZ, will really help transform the air that millions of Londoners breathe.”

It is estimated that 100,000 cars, 3,000 lorries and 35,000 vans will be affected by punitive charging.

Under the ULEZ standards, diesel vans and lorries will have to meet Euro VI standards to avoid the charge. Cars that are non-compliant will be charged £12.50 a day, rising to £100 for lorries and coaches.

Christopher Snelling, head of UK policy at the FTA, said: “While some large logistics operators will have mostly compliant fleets, the real losers here will be small companies reliant on their lorries or vans. Small firms tend to buy second- hand so will have older vehicles that do not reach the latest emissions standards and will really struggle to raise the loans they will need to buy compliant vehicles a few years early then they would have.”

“The Mayor argues that expanding the ULEZ beyond central London and strict standards for heavy vehicles across London will result in more than 100,000 Londoners no longer living in areas exceeding legal air quality limits in 2021, a reduction of nearly 80 per cent compared to without expansion.”

“All areas of London are expected to see reductions in pollution, including on the North and South Circular Roads and only four per cent of roads in Outer London are expected to exceed legal limits in 2021.”