Plans for a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) at Felixstowe port and fining the most polluting LGVs have been shelved after the air quality improved substantially.

Lorries were calculated to be contributing more than a quarter of all NOx concentrations at a receptor site and prompted the local council to consider measures targeting them (MT 19 March 2012).

However, Suffolk Coastal District Council said action taken by the port to reduce pollution emitted by its own handling equipment has reduced emissions to regulation levels.

It also said it would not consider introducing a ‘polluter pays’ policy unless other UK ports did so, because it would threaten Felixstowe’s competitiveness.

A council spokesman said: “One successful initiative has been the requirement to get lorries to book in so they have a one hour slot in which to visit the port. This has had a very beneficial impact on queuing which is far less of a problem than it used to be and has also obviously had an impact on air quality.”

JDM Haulage director, Gordon Clouting, said he welcomed the decision and added that economic pressures had not reduced all Felixstowe freight operations: “We are in a niche market, we are not so much on the road haulage side of things; we move containers to and from the port from rail heads and container yards. From our side of things it’s very busy.”