Last week’s High Court ruling that the current UK Air Quality Plan (AQP) is “unlawful” will ramp up the pressures on commercial vehicle operators, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
In the ruling, Mr Justice Garnham ordered ministers to require local authorities to investigate and identify measures to tackle illegal levels of pollution in 33 towns and cities as soon as possible – as 12 of the 45 are projected to have legal levels by the end of 2018.
Meanwhile after conceding at a High Court hearing in January that its failure to produce a plan was unlawful, the Welsh government was ordered to produce a draft plan by 30 April 2018 and a final plan by 31 July 2018.
The FTA said the High Court ruling means the transport and logistics industries have little option but to adapt to increased regulation and warned about the issues for van and truck operators as it said current proposals for Clean Air Zones already bring significant challenges.
Head of UK policy Christopher Snelling said: “We are concerned about the speed of implementation of CAZs for vans, which as currently planned, gives inadequate time for the development of a second-hand market in compliant vehicles.
“FTA also continues to call for the zones to be kept as small as possible, and for implementation to start as late as possible to allow industry adequate time to prepare. It is also seeking sunset clauses for fleet operators based within the zone boundaries.”