The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says that exempting cars from the proposed Clean Air Zones in five English cities is a missed opportunity to significantly improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced that Birmingham, Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby would be required to introduce Clean Air Zones by 2020 at the latest.
In Birmingham and Leeds, the Clean Air Zone will cover HGVs, light goods vehicles, buses, coaches and taxis,but in Southampton, Nottingham and Derby only HGVs, buses, coaches and taxis will be included.
The freight vehicles will need to be Euro VI or above to access the Clean Air Zones or pay a charge; the Freight Transport Association considers this is an unfair burden on the freight industry.
Rachael Dillon, FTA’s Climate Change Policy Manager, said: “Everyone has to play their part to help improve air quality but rather than sharing the burden of meeting air quality targets, the Government has firmly rested the responsibility on other modes including freight which access cities to deliver the goods and services to keep our economy moving.“