Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Worries Over New Mayor's Road Haulage Emission Plans Prompts Action from Freight and Logistics Lobby

Incoming London HGV Banning Schemes are 'Simplistic' and May Cause Business Failures
Shipping News Feature
UK – The recent election of a new London Mayor saw Labour’s Sadiq Khan elected to the post formerly held by Tory Boris Johnson and such a change always causes concerns for sectors of the capital’s commercial community, not least this time for the freight and logistics groups which have cause to trade in the city, particularly road haulage operators.

Emissions are top of the political agenda at the moment in many urban areas and possibly in London more than almost any other city in the world as British politicians strive to be seen doing the right thing on a subject dear to the hearts of many voters. Last month we published full details of how NO HGV vehicle manufactured before September 2016 will be allowed on central London roads after 2020 unless subject to a £100 per day levy under the ULEZ scheme.

Now the incoming Mayor has already announced a package of even more stringent proposals to improve air quality, including an additional central London charge in 2017 which is expected to impact vans and lorries, a requirement for vans and lorries to be Euro VI/6 across inner London as early as 2018 and a ruling for lorries to be Euro VI across all of Greater London as early as 2020.

The move has spurred representatives of the logistics community into action, with Freight Transport Association (FTA) Chief Executive David Wells writing to the Mayor requesting an urgent meeting with concerns that such plans could sound the death knell for many small haulage operators. The FTA’s 15,000 members operate more than half of the UK lorry fleet and the organisation says the proposals will add substantial costs for transport operators and businesses.

Mr Wells sent Mr Khan a copy of FTA’s Freight Manifesto for London, outlining how the organisation believes the Mayor and London Assembly can work with the logistics industry to create a stronger economy, safer roads and a cleaner environment. In the accompanying letter he wrote:

“The logistics industry is working, and succeeding, in improving its record on safety and emissions in London but more can be done, and crucially we believe it can be achieved without adding any unnecessary cost to London life and development. I must be honest and say that, given calls for simplistic HGV bans, the way policy may develop in London concerns our 15,000 member businesses more than almost any other issue in the UK.”