CAZ framework needs fundamental reform – RHA
Trade body RHA has called for reformation of the way Clean Air Zones (CAZs) are structured.
Its comment follows cross-party calls for reflection on implementing environmental policies such as the London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and CAZs. The organisation says it supports the aim of improving air quality but believes the current CAZ framework needs fundamental reform. This is because it does not target pollution sources effectively nor account for the supply of the required Euro VI vehicles.
“The ULEZ and its sister policy of Clean Air Zones are in many cases badly designed policies which have long vexed our industry” – RHA
A statement from RHA said: “It is right that politicians now pause and reflect on how we can best achieve net zero.
“The ULEZ and its sister policy of Clean Air Zones are in many cases badly designed policies which have long vexed our industry. Whilst the intention to reduce pollution quickly is right, the way they have been implemented has been inflexible, increasingly driven by dogma, driving up costs for both business and the consumer during a cost-of-living crisis.”
The RHA claims these policies have created a supply shortage of approved vehicles, which it says has hurt those least able to adapt, such as small businesses who cannot easily bridge the price inflation nor the charges such a shortage creates.
RHA says it has ‘extensively lobbied’ local and national government on the design and implementation of these policies. The statement said: “We regret that technical fixes which could have resolved these issues were ignored.”
“Policies to improve our environment must not be at the expense of our hard-pressed small businesses operating on wafer-thin margins” – RHA MD, Richard Smith
RHA MD, Richard Smith, said: “As we turn our attention to achieving net-zero, the RHA is calling for greater clarity, collaboration, certainty, and investment amongst the many partners, including government departments, whom we work with. Alternative ways also exist to achieve the environment benefits we all desire. This includes ramping up investment in engine standards and alternative fuels – this has seen pollution levels from lorries fall by over 85% since 2013.
“Policies to improve our environment must not be at the expense of our hard-pressed small businesses operating on wafer-thin margins. Neither should it be at the expense of consumers during a cost-of-living crisis when costs from these policies get passed on.”