FTA strongly welcomes Transport for London’s (TfL) decision to increase its financial support for businesses needing to replace their current vans and HGVs with newer, cleaner models in preparation for the tightening of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards later this year. The business group believes this funding is vital for the Mayor of London to achieve his clean air ambition without placing a heavy financial burden on the shoulders of local businesses.
Natalie Chapman, Head of South of England and Urban Policy at FTA comments: “As the only business group representing all of the logistics sector, FTA is delighted TfL has decided to increase its financial support for local companies preparing for the tightening of the London-wide LEZ standards and upcoming expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). While businesses within the logistics sector are determined to play their part in improving London’s air quality, they must have the right financial support in place; many simply do not have the resources to replace their existing fleets to meet the new, required emission standards. By doubling payments for van scrappage and expanding the criteria for support, TfL has shown it is committed to easing the financial burden its clean air ambition places on the industry.
“FTA will work closely with TfL to ensure the scheme supports the businesses expected to be hardest hit by the ULEZ and LEZ: small businesses, operators of specialist vehicles, and those based within the Zones. And while we are especially pleased to see TfL is developing a funding programme for HGVs – and look forward to seeing the details of this emerge in the coming months – we are calling for the body to recognise that currently there are very few retrofit options available for HGVs. As such, whole vehicle replacement is the only viable option for the vast majority of the HGV fleet.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep the UK trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.