The RHA has criticised the proposal by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn, to bring forward the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) from September 2020 to April 2019, calling the proposal “misguided”.
Responding to the Mayor’s ULEZ consultation, the RHA has said it believes the proposal will make little difference to air quality but will add significant costs for the people and businesses of London.
The proposal states that all lorries entering central London will need to be of Euro 6 standard from April 2019. Lorries that entered service before 2014 will have to pay a punishment tax of £100 each day they enter the zone.
The effect of the proposal will commercially scrap many modern and expensive vehicles well before their time. Many small businesses are at risk from this and future plans targeting goods vehicles operating in the capital.
Bringing the ULEZ forward by eighteen months does not give sufficient time for vehicle operators to effectively manage the change to the newer Euro 6 vehicles. Operators have already planned their vehicle purchasing and leases around the original September 2020 date. Late changes such as this will make the purchasing process more expensive. For the operators of specialised freight vehicles, the problem will be even more acute.
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said, “This demonising of road freight by the Mayor and Transport for London is a serious issue for the people and businesses of London. We all need freight vehicles to move the goods we all use, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the bicycles we ride, and the buildings we work in. If London is to maintain its position as a tourist magnet and business centre, HGV must be recognised as essential road users.”
“This is an unnecessary attack on the consumers and businesses of London that will undermine the competiveness of the city and make no material difference to air quality. Operators need sufficient time to make adjustments to new regulation. The Mayor’s current proposition fails to do this”
The consultation shows that lorries were responsible for just 10% of NOx in London in 2013. With the ongoing introduction of Ultra Low Emission compliant Euro 6 lorries, NOx emissions in Great Britain by lorry have already reduced by a third since 2013.
This ULEZ proposal is on top of the plan for a London only Direct Vision Standards that TfL have indicated will ban over half of the large goods vehicles that enter London – a proposal that also includes banning up to half of the newest Euro 6 vehicles.