Mike Penning

Sir Mike Penning MP

A national survey of road freight operators on the impact of clean air zones (CAZs) has been launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Road Freight and Logistics as part of its first inquiry of the new parliamentary session.

The APPG is chaired by former transport minister Sir Mike Penning MP, who said: “We all welcome the government’s determination to tackle the challenge of air quality in our towns and cities, but it is essential that well intentioned policies do not lead to damaging an industry so vital to the UK economy.

“This inquiry will look at how decisions have been taken and what practical steps can be put in place to ensure that the haulage industry continues to play its essential role throughout our towns and cities.”

Around 30 cities in the UK are considering the introduction of CAZs - which can see pre-Euro-6 trucks charged up to £100 a day to enter – as part of government moves to ensure the UK meets EU air quality standards. While financial assistance to help upgrade fleets is on the table, operators argue it is not enough and many face having to avoid the zones or pay the daily charge.

The survey focuses on the impact of CAZs of the haulage industry, the approach taken by local authorities and whether the national government has provided enough support for affected businesses and local authorities.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett welcomed the inquiry and urged hauliers to submit as much evidence on the impact of CAZs as possible.

“The government has taken an unstructured approach to air quality by leaving it to the local authorities,” he said. “It is catching out a lot of hauliers and too many businesses are struggling to change their vehicles as the secondhand market for Euro-6 trucks is just not there.”

The deadline for written submissions is 11 March 2020. Responses should be sent to info@roadfreightappg.org by 11 March 2020.

The full list of questions is:

Reflecting on the views of those you represent:

1) How will the introduction of Clean Air Zones affect your business?

2) Do you feel that plans for Clean Air Zones has been communicated effectively by local authorities and central government? If not, what would you like to have seen?

3) What support do believe the government can provide to minimise disruption from planned Clean Air Zones?

4) Do you believe that the planned Clean Air Zones will change behaviour?

5) Are you likely to upgrade your fleet as a result of Clean Air Zones? If not, what are the impediments to upgrading?

6) What do you believe the government should be doing differently?

The members of the reformed and expanded APPG of road freight and logistics are:

• Sir Peter Bottomley MP

• Charlotte Nicholls MP

• Darren Henry MP

• Gavin Newlands MP

• Tonia Antoniazzi MP

To explain how new regulations will impact on commercial operators, Motor Transport is working with local authorities to offer a series of free, half-day roadshows.

You’ll hear from policy-makers, technical experts, vehicle suppliers, and your peers as we guide you through the preparation plans for these important new rules.

Click here to see our schedule of upcoming Clean air Roadshows.