Speculating on the imminent government report into air quality, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “We need to understand the detail before we can make a comprehensive comment. However, we are concerned that once again, the devil will be in the detail.
“The industry is already taking action through the rapid up take of ultra-low emission Euro VI lorries. However, we have concerns over DEFRA’s original clean air zone proposals as they failed to consider the negative impact of a premature introduction of restrictions on pre-2014 lorries.”
The RHA believes that clean air zone restrictions - and any associated punishment taxes - must be carefully phased and must be focused on areas of real problems.
Moving in a single step towards mandating Euro VI in all urban areas in 2020 / 2021 will be very damaging for UK businesses and will have a negligible air quality impact in many cases.
Restricting the use and/or taxing of 40% fleet in 2020/2021 is unreasonable. At that time Euro V Lorries will be between 7 and 11 years old and will make up 24% of the lorry fleet. There must be no restrictions or extra punishment taxation of Euro V lorries until 2024 at the earliest.