The Mayor of London’s decision to introduce the Ultra Low Emission Zone 17 months ahead of schedule could bring about a rise in the number of vans operating in London, potentially undermining air quality plans and increasing congestion.
So says FleetCheck as it warns that the most obvious way for fleets to meet the new 2019 deadline is to transfer loads from non-compliant trucks which face a £100 daily charge to compliant vans where possible, leading to more vehicles in the ULEZ.
Peter Golding, managing director, explained: “Whether this is a desirable outcome from an air quality point of view is obviously open to question but is an effect of the earlier deadline that would be no doubt unintended.”
Golding also spoke out about the impact of such short-term changes in national and local government policy on fleet planning.
“Fleets have been planning for the original ULEZ date for years and timing their vehicle replacement accordingly. To change that date at relatively short notice is something that has a definite cost, either in terms of replacing vehicles earlier or operational compromises.
“While sorting out air quality problems in London and elsewhere is undoubtedly crucial, balanced against that is the impact that changing the deadline could have on businesses in terms of jobs and more,” he concluded.