The introduction of an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) zone in London from the start of September, could affect the economy, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
Hackney Council is the latest authority to announce the introduction of a ULEV zone in the area; once live, two pedestrian and cycle zones in the areas of Hoxton and Shoreditch will only permit access to vehicles that emit less than 75g CO2/km emissions, and local permit holders, between 7am and 10am, as well as 4pm and 7pm during the working week.
However, while this is not surprising given the drive to cleaner air throughout London and beyond, the FTA believes that banning goods vehicles using the area during these times will hit local businesses, as well as the wider community.
Denise Beedell, Policy Manager for Vans and Urban at FTA, expressed these concerns, prior to the start of the ULEV zone.
She said: “While FTA welcomes initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in highly populated areas, any new scheme must be designed to reflect the needs of the area it covers.
“More than 270,000 people live across the London Borough of Hackney and many of them are supported by the businesses based in this new zone.
“The local economy cannot survive without products and services, all of which are delivered to the area by goods vehicles such as vans and HGVs.
“The new scheme is effectively a ban on HGVs, given that there is currently no availability of these types of vehicles on the market or even a definition of an Ultra-Low Emission Truck (ULET).”
London is embarking on a wider scheme to reduce emissions, meaning businesses in the haulage industry need to purchase vehicles that have lower emissions; pollution is a problem the government is trying to tackle given only cancer, heart disease and obesity are ahead of it in terms of threats to public health.
However, hauliers believe they are unfairly targeted, and it is a school of thought the FTA adheres to.