Councils place air-quality restrictions on commercial vehicle operators

Several local authorties are looking to introduce air quality measures that will restrict commercial vehicle operations, with Slough looking to introduce the first Low Emission Zone (LEZ) outside of London.

Slough Borough Council has secured funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to develop a low emission strategy, which is set to be published in spring 2016.

“The strategy is aimed at reducing NOx emissions from road transport within the borough. The objective is to comply with all NO2 limits by 2020, 10 years after we should be complying with the EU limits,” it said.

Last week, Wandsworth Council announced that HGVs and vans are to be banned from Putney High Street between 7am and 7pm, beginning January 2016.

The measure has been introduced, the council said, to reduce standstill traffic in the area and improve air quality.

Councillor Jonathan Cook said: “As well as reducing vehicle emissions this measure will have the added benefit of improving journey times for other road users, particularly the local buses that often get delayed because of parked vans and lorries in the high street.”

Leicester City Council is also looking at the possibility of introducing an LEZ. Earlier this year it put forward a proposal for an LEZ as one of 22 suggestions for the council’s draft Air Quality Action Plan.

The Scottish government has also proposed a country-wide LEZ, which raised concerns from various hauliers and transport organisations.