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London Mayor’s air quality proposals threatens small firms

Aug 07, 2016
The Freight Transport Association has reacted with extreme concern over the London Mayor’s proposals on air quality. FTA believes the package proposed by Sadiq Khan would add substantial cost to all London businesses and potentially put some small companies out of work altogether.

FTA has said that the plans outlined by the new London Mayor could have three major possible impacts on business: first an additional charge on the Congestion Charge which is expected to impact vans and lorries; secondly a requirement for vans and lorries to be Euro 6 across inner-London - possibly as early as 2018; and thirdly the proposal would require lorries to be Euro 6 across all of Greater London as early as 2020. 

Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of National and Regional Policy said, ”It should be remembered that air quality has already improved substantially in the capital and will continue to improve further - even if London does nothing. These disruptive proposals will at best only accelerate the situation that is likely in a few years from now. They will put businesses at risk and add massive costs to all - especially to those who need the services that vans provide. Freight operators and the service industry could find themselves being charged extra for their vehicles before they have had any reasonable chance to upgrade. Many businesses could lose trade first in central London, then the whole of inner London - and for businesses based in the zones involved, the impacts will be even worse.” 

The Association stated that in addition to the general increase in cost of doing business in the capital it was also worried about the impact on small businesses in the haulage sector and all those who use or rely on vans.  

Mr Snelling added, “The tipping point where these regulations become less disruptive to business is around eight years after the Euro standard was introduced when a third to half the fleet is compliant, and the second-hand market is fully developed allowing all companies to upgrade if needed. FTA is concerned that these new proposals could see lorries charged extra just three years after their Euro VI standard came in, and vans just months after - as their Euro 6 standard does not start until this autumn. If we are to avoid increasing costs for consumers, businesses will need significant financial help to adopt these standards this early. It is imperative that the Mayor looks at carrots as well as sticks.” 

Photo: London’s air quality has improved and will continue to do so, says the FTA’s Christopher Snelling.

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