What effect will a low emission zone in Glasgow have on hauliers?


First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in October last year that Glasgow would become the first city in Scotland to establish an LEZ in a bid to eliminate air pollution hotspots.

Transport Scotland has said it intends to have the Euro-6-level LEZ in place by the end of this year, and that Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh would follow by 2020.

However, hauliers running into Glasgow will not have to comply immediately, as the city council plans to target only buses initially; HGVs, taxis, vans, cars and motorbikes will be included at a later date.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf said: “Our position is that local authorities should be ambitious and that all vehicles, including private cars, should be included in a LEZ in a phased manner.

“Equally, low emission buses are at the heart of improving air quality and the bus sector has a key role
to play.”

Blunt instrument

But the use of an LEZ to tackle air quality has been described by freight groups as a blunt instrument that might not solve the problem.

Chris MacRae, FTA head of policy for Scotland, said: “Our stance on Glasgow, or for any other city in the UK, is that we think LEZs are the wrong tool if the objective is improving air quality. It’s seen as the solution to a problem. It is a potential solution. They are just a tool in a toolbox; they need to be considered as part of a total solution.”

Quite how Glasgow’s LEZ will affect operators is difficult to predict.

Plans are at an early stage, with so far only the Euro-6 requirement known. Transport Scotland has spent the past few years developing a national strategy, and only now is this being fed down to local councils so they can wrestle with the practicalities of implementation.

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said it was for individual local authorities to decide the size and
scope of each LEZ, and that responses to a consultation that ended in November last year have yet to be published.

But MacRae said the retail distribution sector involved in local haulage could be hit hardest, as they tend to rely on older vehicles undertaking lower mileages. “And then there are other commercial vehicles, in utilities and specialist contractors,” he said. “The vehicles could be ancient because they don’t do very high mileages. It’s difficult to generalise for freight.”

Practical problems

Asked what concerns the FTA has about the LEZ, MacRae said: “Basic, practical ones. Details of what is included and when, and the exemptions for different categories of vehicle. If this goes wrong, and
this includes buses as well, there can be unintended consequences.

“For example, buses can’t serve parts of the city, or freight becomes too expensive to service some parts of the city. That is extreme, but the feeling from operators – certainly our members – are the classic issues from a budgetary and operational point of view; what they need to do and when.

“Is it this year? 2019? 2020? They need to know the basics. They have said 2018, but it’s not for lorries. So when is it for lorries? These are questions operators are asking.”

The RHA described the LEZ as a blanket ban that fails to take into account the needs of Glaswegians and Glasgow businesses. RHA Scotland director Martin Reid said: “We have asked the council to look at different delivery schedules away from peak times as an alternative. What we are saying is consider all options rather than coming in with punitive measures.

“There are a lot of Euro-5 trucks running around and a lot of companies using them. The majority of fleets are taking on Euro-6 because they want the greater efficiencies and so they tend to be used on longer runs; motorways rather than local deliveries. So for the shorter journeys they use Euro-5.”

For now, the RHA believes that many hauliers are sitting tight and waiting for confirmation about who will be affected, when and where.

“There is an entire industry out there that underpins the Scottish economy and the government seems to be altering the curve of natural proceedings,” Reid added.

“With that comes a cost. It’s about £100,000-plus per truck. That’s a lot for an operator of any size. There’s little doubt it will have an effect.”

Air quality, Smith Electric Vehicles demise and Direct Vision Standard are most read in 2017

Smith Electric Vehicles

With air quality one of the major themes dominating the political landscape and by association the road transport industry in 2017, unsurprisingly some of the most read content on Freight in the City this year related to exactly that.

However it was Smith Electric Vehicle’s demise at the start of the year that was one of our most read and by association made a story about it’s bold plans from the end of 2016 another our hit of the year, as people digested the news that a technology firm who’s time had come, had indeed come but not in the sense must of us had expected.

Arrival, previously Charge Automotive, has had a high profile this year, appearing at our own Freight in the City Expo and launching a trial of its exciting electric vehicles with Royal Mail.

It had the consequence that an older story on the site, detailing where Arrival had come from, was very well read.

Autonomous vehicles were another theme in 2017 that started to generate interest. Some love the concept others think it science-fiction but Volvo’s use of the technology for refuse trucks in Sweden caught people’s attention.

The forthcoming Direct Vision Standard continues to prove controversial, and an update at the start of this year setting out it that would be enforced under criminal law proved one of our most read of 2017.

Clean air zones have gathered pace this year, and will no doubt dominate next, and details of Southampton’s plans to address poor air quality and demand HGVs are Euro-6 to enter the city also proved popular.

Hauliers face £100 charge to enter central Leeds under clean air zone proposals

Leeds City Council has published its consultation plans for a category B clean air zone (CAZ) in the city centre, which will require HGVs to be Euro-6 to enter its central area or pay a £100 charge.

The CAZ will come into force in 2020 and will cover all roads within the Leeds outer ring road.

A charging scenario to mirror London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been suggested by the council, however it said further work will be carried out to decide on the exact charging regime for Leeds.

A category B zone affects buses, coaches, HGVs, taxis and private hire vehicles, but does not bring cars and vans into its scope.

Leeds council is one of 28 local authorities across the UK that has been identified by the government as needing to take measures to meet legal limits on air pollution.

A report with the council’s recommended proposals will be presented to the executive board on 13 December, outlining a consultation plan on a proposed charging CAZ covering all roads within the outer ring road, with the motorways acting as the southern boundary.

Leeds said its proposal needs to allow the city to achieve national compliance levels within the shortest possible timescale, whilst also considering the overall impact on the city including financial impacts, inequalities, and displacement of emissions to other areas.

The key areas that the council will be consulting on are;

  • A charging CAZ.
  • Raising the standard of taxi and private hire vehicles to ultra-low emission vehicles.
  • A number of clean air proposals that will complement the CAZ, such as business support packages and helping to raise awareness of air quality issues.
  • Exploration of support packages to provide financial assistance to switch to cleaner fleets.
  • Possibility of exemptions being awarded for specific classes of vehicle, or ‘sunset’ periods to provide additional time for certain vehicle users to upgrade if a robust case was made.


Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for sustainability and the environment, said: “In Leeds ensuring that we improve air quality and therefore the lives of all the people living and working in the city is a real priority for us.

“To ensure we hit our air quality targets, we will need significant support from the government. A wide variety of actions will need to be taken, and for this we will need greater investment in alternative modes of transport and infrastructure to support the growth of alternative fuelled vehicles.”

The consultation period, which will run throughout January 2018, is to be used to further assess the barriers faced by drivers whose vehicles currently fail to meet compliance standards. The council will then present a case to the government on what extra support measures will be necessary.

Following the public consultation, a final report will be submitted to the government towards the end of  summer 2018 for them to sign off on the final proposal for Leeds.

Leeds has already implemented a number of initiatives to boost air quality in the city, including trials of new technology and the development of a new transport strategy.

These include switching its own fleet to ultra-low or zero-emission vehicles: currently the council has more than other local authority in England.

It is also developing compressed natural gas (CNG) infrastructure for the city to enable its own fleet of vehicles, including its RCVs, to switch to natural gas as well as enabling commercial fleet operators to benefit from using the site.

Leeds is also carrying out a geofencing trial as part of project ACCRA that will assess the operational ability of hybrid vehicles to automatically switch to zero emission mode when they are in an area of poor air quality.

In addition, it has secured £150,000 in partnership with clean cool technology firm Dearman to investigate the potential to reduce the impact of refrigerated transport on air quality in Leeds.

The transport refrigeration units used in such vehicles are usually diesel powered and are not subject to the same regulations as other vehicle engines. This project can demonstrate how NOx emitted from these units can be eradicated from the chilled goods supply chain.

In February this year, a Southampton City Council representative revealed hauliers may face charges of up to £200 when its own CAZ comes into force in 2019.

While in London, mayor Sadiq Khan recently opened a consultation into extending the capital’s own ULEZ across the whole of the city starting in 2020 for HGVs.



Mayor confirms Ultra Low Emission Zone will start in April 2019

London mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed his plan for an earlier start date for an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

In a statement today, TfL confirmed that the ULEZ would start on 8 April 2019 in central London requiring HGVs to meet Euro-6 emission standards and petrol-powered vehicles Euro-4.

The ULEZ will replace the T-Charge introduced last week and operate in the same area, alongside the Congestion Charge but (unlike the T-Charge and Congestion Charge, which are only in place on weekdays) it will operate 24 hours a days, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Failure to pay the £100 charge for HGVs could see a fine of up to £1,000 levied.

Plans to extend the ULEZ London-wide for HGVs remain under consultation.

Last year, London operator O’Donovan Waste Disposal urged Khan to give the road transport industry more time to adjust to the new emissions rules.

Jacqueline O’Donovan, MD at the Tottenham-based firm, said any acceleration in the rollout of the ULEZ would leave very little time for operators to plan for the reforms.

“Khan’s clean air revolution will require HGV operators to reduce diesel emissions in all forms across their entire fleets, as well as require them to adopt new clean technologies.”

“But this does not happen overnight,” warned O’Donovan, adding that the wider industry needs time to make further changes and adopt new technologies.

In today’s statement the mayor said: “London’s lethal air is one of the biggest health challenges of this generation. We can’t continue breathing in air so toxic it harms children’s lung development and causes chronic illness and premature death. I am determined to take the bold action needed to address this scourge once and for all.

“So I am pleased to confirm that from 8th April 2019 – 17 months earlier than planned – stricter standards for diesel vehicles will apply 24/7 across central London. This builds on the success of the T-Charge and is part of my comprehensive plan to clean London’s air.”

ULEZ – Key points
  • From April 2019 the ULEZ will replace the T-Charge and operate in the same area, alongside the congestion charge but (unlike the T-Charge and Congestion Charge, which are only in place on weekdays) it will operate 24 hours a days, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  • There will also be two ULEZ charge levels: £12.50 a day for cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 a day for lorries, buses and coaches. These charges will be in addition to the Congestion Charge (C-Charge), so the more polluting cars and vans would pay £24 per day and lorries would pay £111.50 during C-Charge hours.
  • All revenue raised will be used by Transport for London to help maintain a greener transport fleet and reduce pollution across the transport network.

TfL’s director of city planning Alex Williams will be taking part in next week’s LoCITY conference held at Freight in the City Expo in London on 7 November.

Williams will be talking to the freight sector about the ULEZ rollout, as well as the mayor’s draft transport strategy, and on hand to answer audience questions.

Register today for your free entry pass.


Associations question London T-Charge as surcharge goes live

Trade associations have questioned the effectiveness of the London T-Charge, as the new tax went live this morning (23 October).

The T-Charge costs drivers of pre-Euro 4 vehicles that enter London’s congestion charge zone between 7am and 6pm on any weekday £10.00, on top of the £11.50 congestion charge.

But the FTA has warned the tax may not go far enough to remove older vehicles from London’s streets

Natalie Chapman, FTA head of policy for London told Freight in the City: “This charge means other road users will be sharing a burden that the freight industry has been shouldering for years.

“It will bring cars up to the standard that HGVs have had to meet for sometime. This is about all road users playing a part in cutting emissions.”

Chapman acknowledged the charge could impact on some vans and older HGVs but added: “We are talking about vehicles that are more than 10 years old so the charge will have minimal impact on the freight industry.”

However Chapman questioned if the Toxin Tax goes far enough in ensuring older vehicles are removed from the capital’s streets.

She said: “I question how effective it will be. I suspect that it depends on how often people use these vehicles. For many if it is for an occasional journey they may just decide to pay the T-charge, so although it will certainly raise revenues, will it make a real difference to emissions?”

The RHA warned that new Toxin Tax combined with the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone risks damaging London’s economy and dismissed the charge as “just another tax on business in the capital.”

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett added: “The T-Charge on lorries is a modest tax, but the coming changes the mayor plans for ULEZ in 2019 will be a massive tax burden.

“It will impose taxes on those operators of lorries just a few years old who simply cannot afford replace nearly new lorries – we will see jobs lost and hauliers put out of business to achieve very modest air quality improvement.”

However TfL said that since the T-Charge was announced in February the daily number of older more polluting vehicles driving into the Congestion Zone had decreased by around 15%.

Gareth Powell, TfL’s Director of Strategy, said: “The T-Charge shows that London is leading the way with the toughest pollution standard of any world city, which will be further strengthened with the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

“We are encouraged that people appear to be heeding these initiatives and finding more environmentally friendly ways to travel. This is the bedrock on which the mayor’s ambitious plan for a zero emission city by 2050 is built.”

LoCITY conference a key event for operators delivering into London

Operators delivering into London will find the LoCITY conference at this year’s Freight in the City Expo essential to attend.

You will be able to hear first-hand from TfL’s director of city planning Alex Williams (below) on what the capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone will mean for your operation, as well as learn more about the Mayor’s Draft Transport Strategy.

You’ll also be able to find out about the latest tools and guidance documents developed to help fleets make informed buying choices, as well as hear about some exciting new research focused on alternative fuels for refuse vehicles.

LoCITY will be inviting representatives along from other major UK cities to discuss their own plans for improving air quality and encouraging uptake of cleaner freight vehicles.

While over on the LoCITY stand in the exhibition hall, you can speak to the team directly to ask any questions you might have about the latest ultra-low-emission vehicle technology and pending air quality legislation.

You’ll also be able to check out an exciting new electric RCV developed for the City of London, and a fully electric Nissan eNV200Maxi van from Voltia, which is making its UK debut.

Speakers in the session include: Alex Williams (as above); Denise Beedell, development manager, Federation of Small Businesses and LoCITY champion; Carl Beet, transport strategy manager, Transport for West Midlands; Andrew Benfield, group director of transport, Energy Savings Trust.

Freight in the City Expo takes place on 7 November at Alexandra Palace, London.LoCITY

It is free to attend and features a full-day’s seminar programme alongside an extensive exhibition of the latest urban delivery vehicles.

Find out more about the event and register for free today!

LoCITY can help small businesses keep pace with emissions regulations, says FSB

The industry-led LoCITY programme is offering practical help for local independent businesses looking to keep pace with emissions regulations in London, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Denise Beedell, FSB development manager for Greater London, said the impartial guidance provided by LoCITY will help time-pressed small business owners make informed vehicle buying decisions.

“Quite contrary to popular belief, most small business owners aren’t against environmental improvements. Indeed, many go into business because they want to do things better than the corporate world,” she said.

“But at the end of the day, they are there to make a profit and one of the hardest parts of people embracing more sustainable attitudes and behaviours in their own operations is the huge challenge of obtaining relevant and timely information.”

The FSB is a national organisation that represents the interests of small and micro businesses, using evidence-based campaigning to help influence policy-makers and politicians.

In London, the FSB engages regularly with stakeholders like TfL and City Hall on key policies such as the mayor’s Draft Transport Strategy and the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

Beedell said her London-based members fully recognise the need to support air quality proposals to improve the health of those living and working in the capital.

“But equally, and this is where my job comes in, I need to talk to the policy-makers to make sure the small business community aren’t the ones who have to bear a disproportionate burden of costs to pay for all these aspirations. Let’s get a fair deal,” she added.

LoCITY will therefore play a vital role in helping small business owners invest wisely in their business vehicles and give them the information they need to make informed choices.

“Providing the right information and guidance are really, really important,” said Beedell. “Because they simply don’t have time to do the research. They also don’t have the experience or expertise to understand things the way a fleet manager in a large distribution company may do.”

She added: “LoCITY provides a really positive, independent forum to put forward sensible information that has been checked out. It’s trusted; it’s not trying to sell things to people and aligns with what the FSB does.”

Beedell will be speaking at the LoCITY annual conference, which this year takes place at Freight in the City Expo in London on 7 November.

Register today for your free place!

Fraikin’s compliance and technology guidebooks available at Freight in the City Expo

Fraikin will be giving away free printed copies of its latest ‘What You Need to Know’ guidebooks at next month’s Freight in the City Expo in London.

They have been designed to help commercial fleet operators stay up-to-date with key legislative issues and changing technology in the road transport industry.

The ‘Sustainable Transport and Clean Air’ guidebook is essential reading for operators working in an urban environment, according to the rental and fleet management firm, and will help inform them ahead of crucial fleet investment decisions.

It includes topics such as Euro-6 and beyond, ultra-low-emission zones and future fuels, and gives details of where operators can turn to for independent advice.

“It’s clear to many in the sector that the road transport industry has to become more environmentally aware than it is at present,” Fraikin sales director Colin Melvin told Freightinthecity.com.

“Operators with urban fleets understand this most, with a myriad of legislation coming into effect that will directly affect their operations.”

He added: “At Fraikin, we work hard to be ahead of this curve, offering fleet solutions that suit the requirements of any customer operating in an urban environment.”

The second guide available at the show will be ‘What You Need to Know on Vehicle Safety’ and will include information about recent developments such as the proposed direct vision standard in London, as well as refreshers and best practice surrounding the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

Both 12-page guides are also available to download free of charge.

Fraikin said the new guidebooks revive a popular series of booklets it produced a decade ago on essential topics such as Driver CPC and digital tachographs, which saw tens of thousands of copies requested by fleets.

Further guidebooks in the range will be published later this year.


Metropolitan Police offering security and compliance advice at Freight in the City Expo

The Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Unit will be offering a free-of-charge safety and compliance  surgery for operators and drivers at this year’s Freight in the City Expo.

Officers will be on hand at the urban-logistics themed event to provide guidance on a number of common challenges that operators face delivering into busy cities.

Advice will be available on topics including:

  • Drivers’ hours and tachograph use including the operators responsibilities in relation to record keeping.
  • CPC obligations, operator and vehicle obligations under Construction & Use plus Road Traffic Legislation, and potential draft legislation that may impact hauliers.
  • TfL initiatives within London, such as Safer Lorry Scheme, Clocs and the Direct Vision Standard.
  • The effect of Thames Tideway and Heathrow Airport construction projects on HGV use and congestion.
  • Road traffic collision advice and general policing matters.

Sergeant Wayne Watling will also be taking part in the conference programme to talk about some of the key work taking place around London to protect operators from the threat of terrorist and security incidents.

He will look at current Metropolitan Police initiatives to improve the security of HGVs and operating centres in and around the capital, as well as offering sensible advice for drivers to limit the risk in the event of a vehicle hijack and to ensure they always park securely.

Freight in the City takes place on 7 November at London’s Alexandra Palace. It is free to attend and combines a packed seminar programme focused on urban logistics best practice, with a large exhibition of vehicles, technology and services for city operations.

Register today for your free place.

DfT considers offence for dangerous or careless cycling

The government is looking at introducing a new offence equivalent to causing death or serious injury by careless or dangerous driving for cyclists.

Following recent high-profile cases involving cyclists and pedestrians, the DfT is to look at whether it should create such an offence to improve the safety of vulnerable road users.

Its review will be informed by independent legal advice and its conclusions will be reported in early 2018.

It then plans to issue a consultation on ways cycle safety could be improved for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

The consultation is expected to consider the rules of the road, public awareness, safety risks and guidance and signage for all road users.

Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “We’ve seen the devastation that reckless cycling and driving can cause, and this review will help safeguard both Britain’s cyclists and those who share the roads with them.”

The government has claimed that its spending on cycling tripled between 2010 and 2017.

The mayor of London last week revealed plans for a ninth cycle superhighway in central London, linking Kensington Olympia to Brentford.

TfL aims to start building the cycle superhighway late next year, and hopes to extend it to Hounslow at a later date.