haulage work with available drivers. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.">Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) plan, due to be put in place in January 2020, is being reviewed by the city council. The original plan was to charge pre-Euro-6 HGVs £100 per visit to the Clean Air Zone, although it’s been said that this is likely to be reduced before the end of 2018, when the plan is submitted to the government. |
Birmingham City Council’s Labour cabinet member for transport and environment, Waseem Zaffar, stated that the CAZ is in fact being imposed on Birmingham by the government and, if put in place, will be at the expense of jobs and businesses in the city (despite having a positive effect on the health of the general public). There’s no doubt it will also make things difficult for those in haulage work – many companies will require funds for newer vehicles so that they can meet CAZ standards.
Zaffar also confirmed that figures regarding the plan have not been finalised, and so far have only been based on successes in London. He stated that a national approach to charging HGVs is required in order to have less of a negative impact on businesses.
Currently, Birmingham is asking for £36m funding to help mitigate the effects of the CAZ on local businesses and residents. They have proposed that £15,000 of this will be allocated to each HGV in order to fund a retrofit or replacement that will allow them to meet the Euro-6 standards. The council has stated that failure to receive this funding will result in a reconsideration regarding the scheme. Zaffar also claimed that the council “understand the pressure” but that this need for quick action is “down to the government”.
What This Means for Haulage Work
Sylvia Broadley, Birmingham City Council’s air quality manager, has said that the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme will soon be approving upgrades of older vehicles to meet the Euro-6 standard. In addition to this, haulage work vehicles bought in ‘good faith’ (e.g. Euro-5 trucks with existing finance arrangements) may be deemed exempt from the charge for up to two years.
Haulage work companies in Birmingham have been urged to go beyond Euro-6, because fleet managers will soon have to consider biodiesel as more CAZ’s are planned for the future. One of Zaffar’s statements was that, “CAZ is just the start… we want to be a clean air city”. This makes it clear that the council certainly feel strongly towards creating a better environment for the public.
Birmingham is in fact working towards creating the Tyseley Energy Park, where electric vehicle charging will be available, as well as hydrogen, biodiesel, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and CNG (compressed natural gas). This may further encourage fleet managers to get ahead and start investing in newer, greener trucks.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.
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