The government’s rejection of a charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in Coventry is the right decision for the local economy and the city’s long-term air quality prospects, according to FTA, the only business group representing all of the logistics sector.
Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager for the Midlands at FTA, comments: “A charging CAZ would have been the very worst option for Coventry; it would have damaged the local economy while failing to deliver long-term improvements to the city’s air quality. The government is right to rule that other solutions – including intelligent road design, installing fleets of electric buses and investment into cycling routes – can deliver quicker, more sustainable improvements to air quality without penalising hard-working local businesses. After all, vehicles operating in the city will reach the emission standards required to enter a CAZ within a few years due to the natural fleet replacement cycles.
“As the business organisation representing the logistics sector, FTA worked closely with officials from Coventry City Council to ensure the concerns of our members were heard during their decision-making process; we are pleased they have taken our advice on board. We will now liaise with the Council to ensure its package of air quality measures allow commercial fleet operators continued access to the city, so they can continue to deliver the goods and services residents and businesses need every day.”
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.