Clean air zones need to consider freight

Clean air zones need to consider freight

Smog filled London needs Clean air zones

That’s the message the Road Haulage Association (RHA) wants to send to local councils.

The recent published policy paper ‘Accommodating Freight in Clean Air Zones’ from the RHA states:

“The RHA is urging caution in applying widespread Clean Air Zones to Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in the UK. The RHA’s concern is based on the very limited impact some area-wide measures will have on improving health and local air quality, and the high cost that will be incurred as a result of poorly thought through measures.

We all recognise the importance of local air quality and it’s implications on people’s health. The RHA is concerned about the somewhat rushed proposals for the ‘clean air zones’ by some local councils, which if executed poorly could “put some businesses in financial peril and may not materially improve health or local air quality”.

The RHA’s policy paper has a number of recommendations such as:

“The RHA believes Clean Air Zone proposals need to focus on areas of greatest public health risk. As has been demonstrated in London and elsewhere, these are often clearly defined areas where buses and taxis are subjected to high levels of congestion.

The RHA suggests that direct Local Authority action:-

  1. Should focus on vehicles creating the most pollution in pollution “hot spots”, in particular the worst performing buses and taxis – (an example of a positive approach is the London “low emission bus zones” focusing Euro VI buses on pollution “hot spots” in London (https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/buses/improving-buses)).
  2. Should reduce congestion in key areas of high pollution through better traffic management, smarter vehicle routing and improved roadworks management.
  3. Should encourage use of the road network outside peak periods.”

Councils named within the plan have until March 2018 to draw up draft proposals to address nitrogen dioxide pollution from road traffic in their area, with a final deadline of December 2018 to have firm plans in place.

We wait to see what measures are put in place and whether due consideration is given to businesses that keep our cities stocked and running.

For more details on the RHA policy see this link

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