The Scaffolding Association says that the increasing number of cleaner heavier vehicles on London’s streets does not suggest the transition has been easy on businesses.
A new report published earlier this week by the Mayor of London shows that since stricter standards for the London-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ) were introduced in March last year, the number of heavy commercial vehicles complying has increased from 85% to 95% and almost doubled since the scheme was first announced in 2017.
The LEZ is part of London’s bold plans to tackle air pollution in the capital and aims to remove the oldest and most polluting vehicles from its streets. It has led to other towns and cities across the UK introducing similar schemes.
Several are already imposing charges on certain light and heavy commercial vehicles to enter specific areas with many others expected to follow in their footsteps over the coming months and years.
This is the result of government increasing pressure on local authorities to improve air quality, however without a framework or guidance to work from, there are now inconsistencies to the types of vehicles affected and the charges being applied from one town or city to another causing significant confusion for commercial vehicle operators.
In September, The Scaffolding Association launched a CAZ Tracker to help and support their members and the wider sector to understand the fast-changing landscape – believed to be the first of its kind.
Chief Executive of the Scaffolding Association, Robert Candy, commented:
“Local authorities are penalising those working to build, repair or restore their towns and cities without considering the impact that these additional costs will have on businesses, particularly SME’s which make up over 85% of the construction sector.
There is no feasible alternative to using commercial vehicles and more time should be given for these businesses to upgrade to newer cleaner vehicle technologies in order to avoid charges.
The success London is reporting will have come at a cost to industry and while everyone wants to clean up the environment, we must do it in a controlled way that doesn’t clean up businesses with it”.
Download your free copy of The Scaffolding Association’s CAZ Tracker here.