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LONDON ULEZ TROUBLES SMALL BUSINESSES

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LONDON ULEZ TROUBLES SMALL BUSINESSES


London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone will start in 2019 is troubling news for small businesses and specialist hauliers serving London, says the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

“We need to continue the improvement in London’s air quality which is happening anyway, but this regulation taking effect in 2019 will severely disadvantage small businesses working in the capital’s centre,” says Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London and the South East. “The impact will be especially hard for van users, as by 2019 there will only be two and a half years’ worth of compliant vehicles in the fleet – and no second hand compliant vehicles available for purchase at all.”

It is now planned that the Zone will extend in 2020 to Greater London for HGVs and to Inner London for vans in 2021. Ms Chapman commented, “It is encouraging that this is not happening in 2019 as had been suggested: this shows the Mayor has listened to some of the concerns that had been raised. But the expansions of the Zone will still increase the burden on business exponentially. We are calling for businesses based in the affected area to have access to a sunset clause, such as has been offered to private residents, allowing them greater time to comply with the change required without the need for unnecessary and potentially crippling additional charges for new vehicles.

“Previously, the Mayor has called on the Government to fund a scrappage scheme aimed at owners of older diesel cars and vans: we fully support him in that call and believe it is the place of national Government to help prevent the cost burden to implement these measures falling on local authorities, businesses and residents. If such a scrappage scheme were created, it would give the Mayor the necessary room to introduce more flexibility to the London ULEZ, helping operators to avoid some of this unwieldy and unexpected burden on small businesses.

“At a time when London’s businesses face an increasingly challenging trading environment, the Mayor should be taking every possible step to help the capital’s small businesses, and we will urge through this consultation for more consideration to be given to those affected by the introduction of these new measures” concluded Chapman.

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LONDON MAYOR PROPOSES DIESEL SCRAPPAGE SCHEME

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LONDON MAYOR PROPOSES DIESEL SCRAPPAGE SCHEME


scrappage

A few of the cars from the scrappage scheme in 2009

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called on government for a national diesel scrappage scheme for older vehicles to help combat air pollution within the capital with incentives to encourage the uptake of electric and hybrid vehicles.

IAAF’s Chief Executive Wendy Williamson, argues that even though this technology is the way forward, a bigger discussion across multiple sectors is needed to tackle the long-term effects of air pollution in and outside of the nation’s capital. She said. “Whenever there’s anything on emissions it seems to be the automotive market is an easy target somehow. Where are people talking about the aerospace industry, farm tractors and rather just picking up on cars all the time, why is the focus not given a broader discussion?”

She added: “Most of the emission problems in London would be fixed if they looked at the black cabs and buses. There’s positive changes happening at the moment, but then there’s no controls over any of the Uber cabs so you could be in a high emission Uber car and have none of the controls that the black cabs are having to conform to”. Williamson also questions where the budget for the £500m project will come from with around 50 percent of diesel vehicles representing the UK car parc.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Sadiq Khan said. “The toxic state of our air leaves us with no choice but to rid our city of the most polluting diesel vehicles. It is shocking that nearly half of new car sales in the UK are still diesel vehicles and the tax system still incentivises motorists to buy these polluting cars”. The Mayor also announced that he would ‘not rule out’ banning diesel vehicles from London altogether if the high levels of Nitrogen Oxide are not heavily reduced.

If the scrappage scheme goes nationwide, Williamson said the Federation would consult with its members. She concluded: “In fairness, the government has set out quite a robust programme for electric vehicles which are clearly how they see the future. There’s no doubt that hybrids are the way to go but there’s still some way to go with technology yet”.

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