What are these proposed Clean Air Zones?

Birmingham City Council defined a Clear Air Zone as “an area where a targeted action is taken to improve air quality. Clean Air Zones aim to reduce all types of air pollution, including nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, so that people breathe in less of all these pollutants.”

The measures proposed to create these Clear Air Zones involve improving the flow of traffic or introducing a  new scheme like park and ride. Councils will also consider the charging of most polluting vehicles which enter the zone; This will most certainly mean the charging of HGV’s Vehicles.

These Clean Air Zones have been planned for a couple of places which are:

  • Aberdeen – Planned by 2020
  • Bath and North East Somerset – Planned for 2020
  • Birmingham – Planned for 2019
  • Southampton – Planned for 2019
  • Leeds – Planned for 2020
  • Glasgow – Rolling out between 2018 and 2022
  • Dundee – Planned for 2020
  • Edinburgh – Planned for 2020

However, Clean Air zones are currently present in London and Oxford.

The Impact It Will Have

The proposed HGV charge for trucks is about £100 a day; However, Euro VI trucks will be exempt from these charges. These daily charges on trucks will only raise the rates within the freight industry which will likely be passed on to the customer which will cause a rise in inflation – Around 90% of goods have been transported by truck at some point in the supply chain.

The Clean Air Zone charges will push haulers to upgrade their fleet to Euro VI trucks; This will impact on smaller SMEs the most. The practical solution is to this is to give businesses a practical timescale to comply. Many companies will be in lease agreements on their fleets which will go beyond 2019; These agreements are not easy to get out of and can be costly.

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