London’s Van Operators Need More Support Ahead Of ULEZ.

More must be done to ensure the financial burden of upgrading vehicles to ensure continued working access within London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) does not debilitate small businesses, according to FTA, as it reacts to Transport for London’s (TfL) updated van scrappage scheme released today (22 February 2019).

The ULEZ will come into force on 8 April 2019 and operators of any diesel vans that do not meet Euro 6 emissions standards will have to pay £12.50 a day to drive in the Zone. There are three main options under the pre-Euro 6 vans scrappage scheme: operators will receive £3,500 for scrappage and purchase/lease of Euro 6 replacement; £6,000 for scrappage and contribution towards running costs (including insurance) of an electric vehicle; and frequent users of the Congestion Charging Zone will receive £3,500 for scrappage.

Denise Beedell , Policy Manager for Vans and Urban at FTA, the business organisation representing the logistics sector, commented: “While the scheme will help microbusinesses – defined as companies with fewer than 10 employees – cope with the costs of operating within the ULEZ and similar air quality schemes, more specialist operators are likely to lose out. These operators are unlikely to be eligible for funding due to the low turnover threshold. They may also find the cost of upgrading their vans to Euro 6 is still too high, despite receiving financial support from the government.

“Nevertheless, FTA is pleased to see the van scrappage package includes a range of options – operators can receive funding to either replace a pre-Euro 6 van with a Euro 6 model or an electric vehicle– to ease the transition to the new emissions standards for operators.”

Beedell continues: “FTA is pleased TfL will be reviewing uptake of the scheme shortly after implementation and has confirmed it will be open to adjusting the requirements where needed. We will be working closely with TfL to ensure the scheme is fit for purpose and reflects the need of microbusinesses operating within London.

“While there are only just over two years of compliant vans in the fleet – Euro 6 for vans was introduced in September 2016 – TfL has been exploring how businesses can access second-hand Euro 6 vans, so ‘compliant’ does not have to mean brand new – an important development to ensure affordability for businesses of all sizes and keep London trading effectively.”

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Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.

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