FTA: London Mayor’s air quality proposals damage business

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has been the first to go head to head with the new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, expressing “extreme concern” over air quality proposals that it says “would add substantial cost to all London businesses, and potentially put some small companies out of work altogether”.

The FTA’s Head of National and Regional Policy Christopher Snelling has said the new proposals will “put businesses at risk, and add massive costs to all – especially to those who need the services that vans provide”.

He added, “Freight operators and the service industry could find themselves being charged extra for their vehicles before they have had any reasonable chance to upgrade. Many businesses could lose trade first in central London, then the whole of inner London – and for businesses based in the zones involved, the impacts will be even worse.”

The FTA has said that the plans outlined by the Mayor will have three major possible impacts on business:

– An additional charge on the Congestion Charge is expected to impact vans and lorries.
– A requirement for vans and lorries to be Euro VI/6 in inner London possibly as early as 2018
– The proposal would require lorries to be Euro VI across all of Greater London by 2020.

According to Snelling, “If we are to avoid increasing costs for consumers, businesses will need significant financial help to adopt these standards this early. It is imperative that the Mayor looks at carrots as well as sticks.”

With the boom in e-commerce there has been a noticeable rise in congestion due to vans and lorries meeting consumer demand. This has had an impact on air quality and where reducing the numbers of vehicles would impact the economy, alternative ways of tackling air quality need to be addressed. This will likely fall upon owners to meet the needs of those living in London.