A Leeds City Council report recommends that its executive board approves plans to charge non-Euro VI trucks £50 per day to enter the CAZ. This is despite warnings that the measures won’t have the desired impact on air quality.
RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said: “These charges would be disastrous for hauliers. An average SME operator makes around £60 profit per truck, per week, so how can anyone expect them to absorb up to £350 each week to deliver the goods the city relies on?”
Mr Burnett has called into question the city’s claim that they could offer funding towards retrofit options for hauliers. Whilst retrofitting is available for buses there’s still no product on the market for trucks. Instead, he urged the local authority to support hauliers to upgrade their fleets to the newest standard.
But why a charging zone in the first place? Aren’t there ways to reduce emissions that avoid penalising businesses with prohibitive costs?
Nottingham City Council is proving that it’s possible. They’re set to meet their emissions targets by retrofitting buses with clean exhaust technology and bringing in stricter requirements for taxis and private hire vehicles.
“Nottingham’s approach shows that a local authority can plan to reduce emissions by putting their faith in sustainable transport technology. Whereas, Leeds is adopting a punitive charging policy that will see hauliers go out of business.
“We urge Leeds to phase the implementation of the CAZ to give operators a realistic timeframe to upgrade their trucks.”
As soon as the proposals are ratified by the council they’ll be submitted to the Government for approval.