Scrappage scheme vital to help SMEs comply with clean air zones
Implementing a national scrappage scheme would help government efforts to improve air quality while preventing an unsustainable burden falling on small businesses.
So says the Freight Transport Association (FTA), ahead of the anticipated Government’s Air Quality Plan announcement on the deployment of new Clean Air Zones (CAZs).
According to FTA analysis, the additional cost of compliance could be in excess of 150% of annual turnover for some SMEs, with many van operators likely to have to replace their fleet with new vehicles rather than used ones – when the CAZs are introduced, only two and a half years’ worth of compliant vans will be available.
FTA’s head of national and regional policy, Christopher Snelling, commented: “This is not long enough for a second-hand market in compliant vehicles to have come into existence, and thus requires an immediate purchase of a new vehicle, again threatening the way of life of many small businesses.”
The association’s members say the Government should take some responsibility for the financial impact which the new legislation and zones will create.
“Air quality is a national problem and there should be national measures to help solve it,” added Snelling.
“Tax breaks or a scrappage scheme funded by the Government could help business and diesel car drivers cope with the changes and to reduce the need for local restrictions.”
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