Make it easier to move from fossil fuels

Sep 07 | 2023

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) in the UK has said, in response to the introduction of the greatly extended Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London which includes almost everywhere within the M25 orbital motorway, that it needs to be made easier to move away from fossil fuels.

Chris Ashley (RHA)The transport organisation is urging politicians and policymakers to learn lessons from the London ULEZ on the journey to net zero. It said that many Londoners and people driving into the capital have struggled to upgrade to cleaner vehicles to comply with the rules which are based on engine standards. Prices in the secondhand market have shot up as demand for newer vehicles has increased. Commercial vehicle operators have had similar challenges complying with the clean air requirements.

The RHA said that policies such as the ULEZ did not allow a secondhand market of affordable, compliant vehicles to develop. In turn, as ordinary Londoners have discovered, this hurt small businesses who could not easily afford new vehicles to drive down emissions. RHA Environment & Vehicles Lead, Chris Ashley, said that as we now look to reduce CO2 emissions, new policies are needed to support people and businesses.

“Just like the people of London, our industry wants to improve the environment we live in,” he said. “But we’ve found out the hard way that relying on replacing vehicles quickly causes financial problems for many – especially those with limited means. We need to learn these lessons as we continue the journey to net zero. We must think differently – there are other ways to improve air quality, including greater investment in clean engines and incentives like fuel duty rebates linked to reducing emissions. The rules must be attainable for everyone – we’ve got to make it easier for people and businesses to move away from fossil fuels.”

Photo:  Chris Ashley.