Tuesday, October 18, 2016

More Charges on London Freight Vehicles Proposed but Criticised by Road Haulage Association

TfL Announces Results of Pollution Consultation and the Mayor Jumps In
Shipping News Feature
UK—In London the body responsible for the Capitals transport system, Transport for London (TfL), has announced the results for a consultation they launched to investigate ideas from inhabitants on cutting pollution in the city but the findings have engendered criticism from the road haulage lobby toward some of the proposals intended to alleviate the problem.

According to TfL, air pollution is responsible to the equivalent of around 9,400 deaths per year in London which can be attributed to air quality related illnesses. Approximately 15,000 people responded to this consultation with nine in ten of respondents thinking that central London has a problem with pollution, while 68% thought air quality in their local high street was poor.

The survey found that the introduction of an ‘Emissions Surcharge’ from next year was supported by 81% of participants. This is an extra charge for the oldest, most polluting vehicles, driving at peak times in the Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ). This surcharge is likely to be around £10 according to our sources.

In addition the survey found that there is strong public support for bringing forward the implementation of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) a year earlier, to 2019. This scheme, covering the existing Congestion Charging Zone, is due to be introduced in September 2020. All cars, motorbikes, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles will need to meet high exhaust emission standards to enter the zone or pay a daily charge. Diesel freight vehicles will have to be of Euro 6 standard to avoid the charge.

However, the UK’s Road Haulage Association (RHA) has criticised the proposals saying that, ‘We recognise the thinking behind widening the zone but strongly oppose bringing forward introduction of the measure, which goes against Khan’s position of being pro-business and understanding of business for little environmental benefit.’

The RHA also said that it would be responding to the consultations finding and proposals in detail when it has considered all the implications.

Photo: Younger readers will not recognise this picture, typical of London smog in the 1950’s.