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Scrappage deal to help shift to ULEZ but more support needed

The van scrappage agreement announced Friday will help microbusinesses transition to the Ultra Low Emission Zone but more must be done to ensure small businesses aren’t hit.

It’s estimated that approximately 80% of vans currently on UK roads will not be ULEZ-compliant

That’s the message from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) in response to the updated details for Transport for London’s (TfL) updated van scrappage scheme, which is first announced in September and is now officially open and available to access online.

Under the scheme, eligible operators can receive a payment of £6,000 to scrap a non-compliant van or minibus and help with running costs of a new electric vehicle.

They can also opt for a payment of £3,500 to scrap a non-compliant van or minibus which can be used to purchase a newer ULEZ-compliant Euro 6 vehicle or access third-party offers from rental and sharing services across London, including Zipcar, Northgate Hire, Enterprise and Europcar. Or the funds can be used to support ongoing business operations.

Denise Beedell, policy manager for vans and urban at FTA, 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 continued: “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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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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