The Mayor of London’s proposed Ultra-Low Emissions Zone, or ULEZ, has been high on the public agenda lately. While the need to do something about global carbon emissions – as well as London’s poor air quality – is indisputable, the nature of the ULEZ and the timing of its introduction could place an enormous strain on small businesses, potentially pricing many of them out of the capital’s lucrative market. The FTA has released a statement commenting on the pros and cons of Sadiq Khan’s proposed legislation.
What Is the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone?
The ULEZ is an area of London wherein more polluting vehicles will be subject to a charge should they enter. The zone is aimed at reducing carbon emissions and improving the air quality for those who live and work in the capital, in light of the fact that thousands every year die early as a result of the city’s high levels of air pollution. The ULEZ is slated for a 2019 start date, and is set to expand a year later, in 2020. A public consultation into the zone has just been launched, and chief among those scrutinising the proposed legislation are courier and haulage operators, whose businesses are set to be most affected by it.
What’s Good About It?
As mentioned above, London’s air quality is far from ideal. Thousands die each year and thousands more suffer health problems as a result of air pollution, making cleaner air a top priority. Additionally, it is hoped that by restricting high-emissions vehicles from the capital (the beating heart of the UK’s logistics market), operators will make the switch to eco-friendly vehicles in order to preserve their range of motion, thus resulting in a net reduction in carbon emissions. The increased demand for eco-friendly vehicles is also hoped to result in an influx of investment in research into low or zero-emissions vehicles.