LoCITY Fuels in Action helps freight operators understand market for alternative fuels

By Christopher Walton and Colin Barnett

A Fuels in Action event at Kempton Park in Surrey last week (20 March) was the culmination of a year of activity from LoCITY featuring roadshows on gas, electric and hydrogen.

It brought together operators, manufacturers, fuel suppliers and policy experts to explore the multitude of options on the market.

Up for discussion were the latest developments and operational impacts across all alternatives to diesel, as well as the effect of legislation such as ultra-low-emission and clean air zones on freight movements.

There was also the latest in alternative fuel technologies on display, from the likes of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Scania and Iveco – including an early outing for the FUSO eCanter.


The infrastructure and vehicle options for the widespread adoption of gas-powered commercial vehicles is there, delegates heard, but there is more to it than simply swapping diesel for gas in the tank.

In comparing the multiple options of gas fuels on the market, from LPG to LNG and CNG, James Westcott, business development director at Gasrec, said that the different types of gas would have different applications depending on the type of work the vehicle conducts.

For 3-axle artics, he believed LNG would be the best option “because that offers the range over long distances”.  For refuse vehicles and the mid- to lower-rigid range that encompasses elements such as back-of-store deliveries, “CNG will have a greater impact”.

Westcott said that with major manufacturers bringing on 13-litre engine options, “this is almost parity with diesel, particularly when it comes to torque,” while 450hp gas vehicles will provide near parity when it comes to torque.

Fuel options also make a substantial difference to the total cost of ownership, explained TRL gas expert Tim Barlow. Citing the example of £600,000 to run a 36-tonne rigid averaging 10,000 miles annually over a seven-year period – including costs such as licencing, congestion charge, taxes, fuel, maintenance and depreciation – the use of CNG would reduce that cost by £80,000, LNG see £40,000 of savings, while LPG would see a saving of £8,000

Justin Laney, fleet manager, John Lewis – which runs a fleet of 53 gas-powered trucks – said that the legislative environment was also there to encourage take-up: “Fuel duty uncertainty was a big risk. If the Treasury increased the fuel duty [on gas] it would destroy the business case, but that is now fixed until 2024.”

Equally, on the John Lewis home delivery fleet, he said that the proposed 4.25-tonne arrangement for alternatively fuelled vans offered 50% extra payload and gives a business case straight away for the use of such vehicles.

In a separate session on gas, Adrian Heath, national accounts manager – transport, at Calor, discussed the possibilities for regional distribution into urban environments

He said that the concept is about to become reality in the shape of a 16-tonne rigid being built for Calor by Dutch specialist EMOSS on a Daf base, for use in delivering the firm’s bottled gas products.

The truck’s only direct drive is from electric motors powered by a battery pack giving a 40-mile range. Obviously this isn’t enough for serious operations, and that range is extended to 250 miles by the use of a range-extending power unit. That unit is 2.0-litre Toyota engine running on LPG and designed to be used at a constant speed for maximum efficiency. It has no connection to the driveline, though, and is used solely to generate charge for the batteries.

Compared with a conventional diesel truck, the range-extended 16-tonner will initially cost 2.0 to 2.5 times as much, but Heath calculates that based on a seven-year service life, it will have a payback after four or five years, without accounting for any grants or incentives.

Using bio-LPG, which Calor is just beginning to supply, it combines ultra-low emissions with a CO2 reduction up to 94%. It will operate out of Calor’s Coryton depot covering London and the south-east, and if successful, could be the first to replace up to 100 such vehicles on the Calor fleet.

Renewable fuels and retrofit options

Martin Brower, which handles McDonald’s logistics in the UK, has a target of reducing its fossil fuel usage by 80% by 2020, and believes its use of biodiesel – based on waste product from the restaurants it delivers to – will help it hit that target.

Speaking to delegates, Tony Winterbottom, GM – Operational Support, at Martin Brower said that when they set the reduction target back in 2007 they initially believed it would come from elements such as  route optimisation and reducing fuel consumption caused by bad driving.

Servicing 1,369 McDonald’s locations in the UK and Ireland from four distribution centres, Martin Brower delivers some 70 million cases a year – and that is a volume of goods that has risen from 40 million cases a year back in 2007. As a result its fleet now runs 27 million km a year.

“We started a process in 2007 where we were bringing back waste from restaurants. We return 20,000 tonnes of cardboard, that was originally collected by waste contractors, but we do it on behalf of the restaurant. We also collect 3,500 tonnes of organic waste, 4,000 tonnes of grease trough waste and 4.2 million litres of used cooking oil.

“The used cooking oil we recycle. We turn it into biodiesel for our fleet and that is where the challenge started. We bring it back from all the restaurants and that 4.2 million litre produces 3.8 million litres of biodiesel,” Winterbottom added.

“Our projected biodiesel use is 7.7 million litres in 2018 – 8 million would be our target for an 80% reduction in fossil fuel use.”

The ultimate measure of carbon reduction though is CO2 output per cage delivery. For the optimum result, the best vehicle for carbon reduction is an artic, which has a CO2 output per cage delivery of 0.65. This is a result of the trailer capacity being 42 cages. A van can only carry four cages, so it takes 11 vans to do the work of one biodiesel-powered artic. For one van the CO2 output per cage delivery comes in at 5.24.

“We hear it all the time about these big vehicles entering the city causing air pollution, but maybe they are not quite as bad as you think,” he told delegates.

“We have actually set another target, now looking for a 51% reduction in CO2 emission reductions from our 2012 base by 2025. That is a stretching target but we will continue to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”

This approach will be encapsulated in a new livery on the fleet: ‘We recycle all our cooking oil to power this truck’.”


Improved collaboration between electric vehicle operators and electricity distributors will see a substantial increase of battery-powered vehicles on the roads of London.

Steve Halsey, distributed energy resources development manager at UK Power Networks – which owns, operates and maintains the electricity distribution in London, the east of England and south-east of England –  said: “We predict we could end up with 8 gigawatts of electric vehicles on our network by 2030, that is about half of our current peak time demand.”

While he conceded that bus and taxi operators were leading the way in overall adoption, he did say that commercial vehicle operators were looking at innovations, citing the example of UK Power Network’s collaboration with UPS, which has seen it increase the number of vehicles running from its Camden depot from 65 to 170 on the back of improvements to recharging capabilities.

“The Camden UPS depot,” he said, “is the largest electric vehicle fleet in the UK. It required intelligent network analysis to release capacity.”

The move to electrification is being seen elsewhere in the capital and Vince Dignam, business improvement and performance manager at the City of London, said that the corporation was already trialling electric vehicles against diesel for refuse collection.

“We have just put our waste and cleansing contract out for tender, due to start two days before the ultra-low-emission zone comes in. It will be interesting to see what kind of technology they come back with,” he said.


Hydrogen is, in theory, one of the best solutions for sustainable transport. However, progress towards widespread acceptance is slow, amid concerns over its availability and, more crucially, the environmental impact of the current manufacturing process.

A LoCITY Fuels in Action Roadshow session discussed the limitations of hydrogen as a fuel, as well as its benefits.

Hydrogen’s use in commercial vehicles is as an energy storage medium, which is normally utilised as a complement to diesel in an internal combustion engine, or by reacting with a fuel cell to create electricity to provide motive power. It’s relatively simple to manufacture and as easy to transport as diesel.

The only tailpipe emission of fuel cell vehicles is water, they have fewer moving parts, hence lower running costs and a hydrogen tank’s 20-year life is only limited by legislation.

C6543 UlemCo Company vehicles at Matalan

However great the benefits, though, you have to find the hydrogen. The investment in creating a private hydrogen producing facility is high, and the publicly accessible infrastructure is still in its infancy.

More significantly, the process of extracting hydrogen requires energy, and its overall environmental credentials are only as good as the source of that energy.

If electricity from truly renewable sources, such as the wind-powered installation of leading supplier ITM Power, at Rotherham, is used, the overall CO2 footprint is negligible, but most production still uses fossil fuel as the source.

Looking much further ahead, TRL’s hydrogen specialist, Dr Anthony Velazquez, predicted a possible situation when the existing national gas supply network could carry hydrogen when fossil fuels are outlawed, but don’t count on that just yet.




Electric vehicle uptake would improve with better distributor and operator collaboration

Improved collaboration between electric vehicle operators and electricity distributors will see a substantial increase of battery-powered vehicles on the roads of London, delegates at the LoCity Fuels in action roadshow heard.

Steve Hasley, distributed energy resources development manager at UK Power Networks – which owns, operates and maintains the electricity distribution in London, the east of England and south-east of England –  said: “We predict we could end up with 8gigawatts of electric vehicles on our network by 2030, that is about half of our current peak time demand.”

While he conceded that bus and taxi operators were leading the way in overall adoption he did say that commercial vehicle operators were looking at innovations, citing the example of UK Power Network’s collaboration with UPS, which has seen it increase the number of vehicles running from its Camden depot from 65 to 170 on the back of improvements to recharging capabilities.

“The Camden UPS depot,” he said, “is the largest electric vehicle fleet in the UK. It required intelligent network analysis to release capacity.”

The move to electrification is being seen elsewhere in the capital and Vince Dignam, business improvement and performance manager at the City of London, said that the corporation was already trialling electric vehicles against diesel for refuse collection.

“We have Just put our waste and cleansing contract out for tender, due to start two days before the ultra low emission zone comes in. It will be interesting to see what kind of technology they come back with,” he said.

CitySprint trials hydrogen-powered van and boosts cargo bike fleet in London

CitySprint is trialling its first hydrogen powered van in London and has more than doubled its fleet of cargo bikes.

The carrier plans to have an emission-free fleet in the city by 2020.

CitySprint has developed the van with Renault, and its client Mitie will run the vehicle in the capital for the next six months.

CitySprint will compare the vans performance to that of other green vehicles on its fleet; the courier runs four electric vans and a fleet of cargo bikes in the city.

The new van has a range of 200 miles and runs on electricity generated by hydrogen reacting with oxygen within the vehicle. The only result of the chemical reaction is water.

CitySprint has also more than doubled its fleet of cargo bikes, and now runs a total of 22, each of which can carry the same 50kg load as a small van.

Each of the bikes, that carrier claims, saves 4 tonnes of GHG emissions a year and on average  completes delivery routes 50% faster than a small van.

CitySprint CEO Patrick Gallagher said: “Since the launch of our green fleet this August, we’ve already cut back on our CO2 emissions by as much as 10 tonnes. The trail of a hydrogen van is on a long list of environmentally friendly vehicles we have tested over the years.

“We hope that along with our growing cargo bike fleet, this can prove to be a sustainable option and continue our commitment to reducing air pollution across the UK cities we operate in.”

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.

UPS to trial extended range fuel cell electric vehicles

UPS fuel cell electric vehicle

UPS is to trial a fleet of extended range Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) delivery trucks on California’s highways.

The trial, which is set to begin in Sacramento before the end of the year, is part of a project UPS is working on with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to design a first-of-its-kind, zero tailpipe emissions, Class 6 medium-duty delivery truck that can match the range of UPS’s existing conventional fuel vehicles.

Unlike fuel cell auxiliary power units, the FCEV vehicles will use an onboard fuel cell to generate electricity to propel the vehicle and will be tested on UPS routes for a minimum of 5,000 hours during the trial. The test vehicles will join UPS’ Rolling Laboratory fleet of alternative fuel vehicles.

Each FCEV produces electricity which continuously charges the batteries, providing additional power and an extended range of 125 miles. The UPS trucks are retrofitted with a 32kW fuel cell coupled to 45kWh of battery storage and 10kg of hydrogen fuel. The drive train runs on electricity supplied by batteries, which, unlike other fuel cell applications, will support the full duty cycle of the truck, including highway driving.

Announcing the project, UPS said it was “an important step toward demonstrating the commercial viability of zero tailpipe emissions trucks to fleet operators and the developing FCEV supply chain.”

Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability, added: “The challenge we face with fuel cell technology is to ensure the design can meet the unique operational demands of our delivery vehicles on a commercial scale.

“This project is an essential step to test the zero tailpipe emissions technology and vehicle on the road for UPS and the transportation industry.

“We have a long history of developing and promoting the use of more sustainable alternative fuels with our Rolling Laboratory, and hope that by bringing our unique expertise to the development of hydrogen fuels, we can help advance the technology.”

Hydrogen CVs can play a key role in London’s 2050 zero-carbon ambition, says TfL

ULMECO fuel cell for Nissan

Hydrogen-powered commercial vehicles could play a key role in London’s ambition to become a zero-carbon city by 2050, according to TfL.

Speaking at a recent LoCITY roadshow – developed to help freight operators learn more about hydrogen technology in vans and HGVs – TfL freight environment programme manager Fergus Worthy told delegates: “If you look at the mayor’s transport strategy that came out for consultation over the summer, you will see that the long-term vision for London is to be a zero-carbon city by 2050.

“To do that, we would need to have zero-emission transport across the capital by that date.”

He added: “From our understanding of technology on the market, or in development, there are really only two options that would be in scope on that date: battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”

The electric vehicle market was now relatively mature, delegates heard, with the range of products on the market increasing, such as battery electric and range-extended vans and HGVs being developed and put into operation.

“We’re also starting to see the infrastructure to support those vehicles really standing up as well,” Worthy added.

Indeed, a LoCITY roadshow held earlier this year focused on the increasing number of vehicles available and under development for the road transport sector (such as the Fuso eCanter, pictured) as well as supporting charging points planned for the capital.

Regarding hydrogen, Worthy said the potential benefits were substantial: zero emissions at tailpipe; low well-to-wheel carbon emissions if produced in a sustainable way; long operational range; quick refuelling time; and the ability to help balance energy supply and demand in the system.

“But there are still some really big questions we need to answer,” he added.

“How will fuel cell technology work in heavy trucks? How can we make sure we get the right infrastructure in the right place in a space-constrained city? How can we make sure we can produce and maintain sufficient quantities of low carbon hydrogen to fuel these vehicles as well?”

LoCITY is therefore bringing together organisations in the hydrogen sector alongside the freight industry to collaborate, overcome these challenges and start to “shape what the future will look like”.

“And events like this are absolutely key to that process,” Worthy added.

Despite the long-term ambition for London’s transport parc to be fully zero emission, Worthy was keen to point out that other market-ready fuels – such as biomethane, renewable biodiesel and bioLPG- can all play an important role today thanks to their carbon-reduction and air quality benefits.

In September, LoCITY dedicated a workshop to highlighting the environmental and operational improvements that operators can find by adopting the latest generation of gas-powered vans and HGVs on their fleets.

Dft-supported real-world trials of gas-powered HGVs are also underway as part of the Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, with major operators such as Wincanton, John Lewis Partnership and Kuehne + Nagel taking part.

LoCITY will also be focusing on renewable biodiesel and drop-in fuels, as well as bring together key learnings from its previous electric, gas and hydrogen roadshows in a large-scale event, Fuels in Action, to be held on 20 March 2018 at Kempton Park race course in Sunbury-on-Thames.

It is free to attend, but you must register your interest to take part.

LoCITY is a five-year, industry-led programme to help the freight sector understand the capabilities of alternative fuels, break down barriers to wide-scale adoption, and help encourage manufacturers to bring more vehicles to market.

Hydrogen roadshow, hosted by LoCITY

More than 100 people took part in a hydrogen roadshow held on 23 November at CEME in Rainham, Essex.

The event, hosted by the industry-led LoCITY prgramme, aimed to help freight sector and local authority fleet managers understand how hydrogen might work to fuel their own commercial vehicles.

Delegates taking part in the event were given an overview of hydrogen as a fuel and how it has started to become more viable for commercial vehicles by Robert Evans, CEO at low-carbon centre of excellence Cenex.

He explored different ways of producing hydrogen, with methods using wind and wave power the preferred, more sustainable option, as well as helping to answer any safety concerns operators may have.

Evans also took a look at vehicles on the market today, as well as some exciting new R&D and on-road trials taking place globally to enable hydrogen to be used in the largest lorries.

For example, in the US, Toyota is working with authorities in California to test a fuel cell Class 8 truck for drayage work at ports, while Nikola Motor Company recently unveiled its fuel-cell-powered Nikola One concept with a claimed range of between 800 and 1,200km.

Hydrogen London helped delegates understand the capital’s commitment to supporting hydrogen  as a fuel and highlighted current and planned infrastructure in place, which can be viewed on LoCITY’s online alternative fuel refuelling map.

Grundonw Waste Management DAFPartnership manager at Hydrogen London, Matthew Dear, looked at some of the latest CVs on trial in the capital, such as the Ulemco dual-fuel refuse lorry in operation with Grundon Waste Management around the Heathrow area (pictured).

He is also keen to encourage new vehicles, such as a fuel-cell-powered refrigerated van unveiled last month by Symbio FCell in France, to hit the roads in London.

“This looks fantastic,” he said, “as it avoids the auxiliary power [for the refrigeration unit] using diesel. It would be great to see these operating in London in due course”.

The Greater London Authority will also lead by example on their own fleet, delegates learned. New cars and small vans would be zero emission capable by 2025, while heavier vehicles would be fossil free from 2030 and the entire fleet zero emission by 2050, as per London’s city-wide ambition.

Delegates were given the opportunity to head outside and explore the various hydrogen vehicles taking part on the day, which included the Ulemco dual-fuel bin lorry and a Renault Kangoo ZE-H2 supplied by Arcola Energy.

Other vehicles in development included a full conversion of a 3.5-tonne panel van with an optimised fuel cell range-extended electric drivetrain, which would be completed by summer 2018 and deliver a range of more than 200 miles and a 1,000kg payload.

Arcola Energy also planned to adapt the powertrain it is developing for a zero-emission double-decker bus in London with Alexander Dennis for use in a 7.5-tonne truck. This would likely be completed by 2019/2020.

Delegates also took part in a demonstration of how quick and easy it was to refuel a hydrogen vehicle at the pump located at CEME and installed by renewable hydrogen firm ITM Power, which is working to establish a network of refueling sites across the UK.

Slide presentations from all the experts taking part in the LoCITY hydrogen roadshow can be downloaded free of charge online.


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.



Ultra Low Emission Zone set to go live across London from October 2020 for HGVs

The London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is likely to apply to HGVs operating across the capital from 26 October 2020, TfL has confirmed.

Launching a consultation on plans to extend the ULEZ across greater London, following its commencement in the centre of the city in 2019, mayor Sadiq Khan called on Londoners to let him know what they think of his plans “to clean up our lethal air”.

“I am determined to take the bold action needed to protect the public from London’s poisonous, deadly air. I can’t ignore the shameful fact that London’s air is so toxic it harms children’s lungs, exacerbates chronic illness and contributes to thousands of premature deaths each year.

“Following the successful introduction of the T-Charge, and confirmation of the central London ULEZ, I am moving ahead with the next stage of my plan to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone up to the busy north and south circular roads,” he said.

Trucks that do not meet the Euro-6 emissions standards by these dates will pay a £100 daily penalty for coming into London.

Khan told a committee of MPs last week that the T-Charge was a loss leader for TfL but essential in changing attitudes.


£220m Clean Air Fund to help local authorities tackle air pollution

A new Clean Air Fund will give financial support to local authorities attempting to address air pollution in their areas.

The £220m fund, announced by Philip Hammond in the Autumn Budget, will be paid for by higher Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) on diesel cars bought after 1 April 2018.

Hammond emphasised that that the VED rise would not apply to or affect van drivers.

A consultation into what the fund could support has been launched in conjunction with Hammond’s Budget statement.

He said: “The tax system can play an important role in protecting our environment.

“We owe it to our children that the air they breathe is clean.”

The Autumn Budget also announced a new study on the future of freight infrastructure in the UK, to be published in Spring 2019.

The NIC’s study will look at urban congestion and decarbonisation, as well as how freight can harness new technologies such as platooning.

A Transforming Cities fund for the Northern Powerhouse also played a part in Hammond’s Budget, which will focus on improving transport in UK cities

The £1.7bn from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will target productivity-driving projects that improve connectivity and reducing congestion in the cities.

Half of the money will be distributed among the combined authorities with metro mayors, which were elected earlier this year.

The West Midlands will receive the largest chunk of this with £250m. Greater Manchester will get £243m; £134m will go to Liverpool; £80m for the West of England; £74m for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and £59m for Tees Valley.

The other half of the Transforming Cities fund will be distributed through competition for project funding.