A PROPOSED new London pollution curb could form UK cities’ blueprint warns Chevin after new London mayor Sadiq Khan’s clean air proposals triggered an outcry at the potential impact on business vehicle operators from the accelerated pace of change.
Policy suggestions announced include a vastly-extended ultra-low emissions zone, extra charges for the most polluting vehicles and the promotion of a diesel scrappage scheme, with the proposed London pollution curb raising concerns from both the FTA and the BVRLA.
Ashley Sowerby, managing director at fleet management software specialist Chevin, said that similar air quality problems to London affected many other places in the UK and the solutions adopted by politicians were likely to serve as a model for other conurbations.
“An estimated 10,000 deaths a year in London are caused by poor air quality so there is a definite impetus to take decisive action to fight the problem.
If adopted, they will create pressure on other cities to make similar moves, which is something that will affect more and more fleets over the next few years
“The proposals we have seen from Sadiq, subject to public consultation, are much more decisive than anything else we have seen suggested to date and will undoubtedly raise the whole profile of the subject of air pollution.
“If adopted, they will create pressure on other cities to make similar moves, which is something that will affect more and more fleets over the next few years.
“A key point to note is that the new suggestions are envisaged as happening much more quickly than previous ideas for London. The additional congestion charge could happen in 2017 and the extended emissions zone by 2019.”
Ashley pointed to the recent naming of the UK’s first four Go Ultra Low cities – Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London – as evidence of a general trend towards central and local government working to improve air quality.
“This is something that fleets across the country will undoubtedly be encountering more and more. We could soon reach a point where they have to address the issue operationally, especially as the timings being discussed will add impetus.
“As a company, we have talked previously about how it is likely that many fleets will have to operate at least some ULEVs in the next few years and how they could, for example, be made available on a pool or car share basis.
“What Sadiq’s announcement means is that managerial solutions like these are likely to be needed more quickly. We are already talking to some fleets that have a large presence in London about how software can help with managing this situation.”