As responsible suppliers to the UK transport industry, the Truckcraft Bodies team are becoming concerned about the impact that the ever-growing number of clean air zones (CAZ) will have on the sector.
That’s not to say we’re ignorant of the justified concerns that government and local authorities have about the impacts of poor air quality. It’s obvious we have to find a middle way. One that protects people’s health and keeps the cost base of the commercial transport sector under control.
It’s alarming to find that recent research by telematics firm Masternaut estimates that over 50% of vehicles entering clean air zones like London’s up and coming ULEZ don’t comply with the stringent requirements. And with other CAZ in Birmingham and Sheffield rapidly developing, the situation is deteriorating by the day.
The situation is getting urgent given that phase one of the ULEZ will commence in April 2019 with schemes in other cities slated to start from 2020. Transport firms who ignore this information are sleepwalking over a very costly cliff.
Eye Watering Fines
Masternaut’s research conducted between August 2017 and August 2018 is grim reading. It highlights how many non-compliant vehicles entered the planned ULEZ and similar schemes and what it would cost if these regimes were operating as planned.
- 55.3% of the vehicles that entered the London CAZ were non-compliant. That would mean fines of £1690 per vehicle had the ULEZ been operating.
- 53.2% of the vehicles that entered the proposed Birmingham CAZ were non-compliant leading to the risk of a £711 fine for each violation.
- 53.4% of the vehicles operating in the planned Sheffield CAZ did not comply and could have resulted in penalties of £2476 per vehicle.
Masternaut’s conclusions make it clear that transport firms need to make some urgent changes.
Where’s The Balance?
We all understand that clean air zones are essential to improve air quality for urban workers and residents. It’s equally evident that delivery trucks in these zones will be required to meet the strict exhaust emission standards to avoid hefty daily fines. So how do we balance these equally important issues?
A great way to start is to look at Masternaut’s explanatory video that outlines their research and offers some useful advice for transport firms on how to offset the impacts of clean air zones. Click here to view it.
From there, it’s time to assess how the CAZs will affect your company and do some careful planning and a thorough risk assessment. Forewarned is forearmed.
Regular readers will know that Truckcraft Bodies are advocates of out of town commercial hubs. These will allow freight companies to keep none-compliant vehicles outside of a CAZ enabling a fleet of smaller complaint vehicle to make city centre deliveries.
Upgrading a transport fleet is also essential. To include CAZ-friendly vehicles like Truckcraft Bodies, TRAILAR enabled 3.5-tonne trucks. And most of all, fleet managers need to take the time to educate themselves on the implications of clean air zones and plan accordingly.
One thing’s sure; this problem isn’t going away. So now’s the time to take a proactive look at the issues and take some positive action.
Doing anything else could cost you dear!
For more information about our CAZ-compliant delivery vehicles, please contact the Truckcraft Bodies sales team on 0161 304 9404. Alternatively, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published: Mar 20