The subject of Clean Air Zones (CAZs) has never been far from the thoughts of the haulage industry in recent months as we have reflected in our reports (see Concerns over Bath clean-up, RHA believes Leeds CAZ plan is flawed and Cut in CAZ charge fails to impress hauliers, for example).

However, one local authority has been praised for an approach which accepts, as the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has pointed out, that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to improving air quality. This comment came after Nottingham decided that it does not require a charging low emission zone to meet its air quality targets.

Chris Yarsley, FTA’s Policy Manager for the Midlands welcomed the move and said: “The decision to overturn the mandate that Nottingham must introduce a CAZ sets a welcome precedent that Government will consider more tailored plans that reflect the needs of each community.”

Commercial vehicles which do not meet Euro 6 requirements will no longer be faced with heavy penalties for going about their daily work in Nottingham, he continued, as was originally laid out in the planned CAZ.

Nottingham is the first local authority to have its air quality plan approved as part of the Government’s mission to improve air quality nationwide and, according to the FTA, its plans will produce at least the same air quality improvements without penalising hardworking vehicle operators.

Derby City Council is reportedly also presenting its case against a CAZ, believing other solutions will deliver a better outcome in a quicker time frame without damaging its local economy.

However, it seems unlikely that Leeds City Council will be on hauliers’ Christmas card list after the Road Haulage Association (RHA) reported fears that it could increase charges for non-Euro VI trucks to enter its CAZ after the Government rejected a bid for £40 million to fund the scheme.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has apparently told Leeds to submit new plans which ask for less money.

Last reviewed 5 December 2018