BUSINESSES need time to plan for further emissions curbs, the BVRLA warns the government. It was commenting on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee‘s report on air quality.
BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney pointed out that companies operate vehicles on up to five-year contracts and need time to plan for major changes.
He said: “Air quality is a big issue for Britain’s urban areas, and we can understand why the committee has called for councils to be given greater freedom to set up Clean Air Zones (CAZs).
“The vehicle rental and leasing industry is concerned that the UK could end up with a lack of consistency across CAZs – the government needs to step up and deliver a framework for a nationwide network of low emission zones.
A blanket ban of all diesel vehicles in city centres would be damaging to businesses – Defra must take a carrot-and-stick approach if it wants to drive the uptake of the least polluting vehicles
“It’s also important that motorists are not punished with retrospective measures for decisions that they have already made. Fleets operate vehicles on three, four and five-year contracts, and need time to prepare for any significant change.”
The BVRLA warns in its response: “Fleets need consistency, but a blanket ban of all diesel vehicles in city centres would be damaging to businesses – Defra must take a carrot-and-stick approach if it wants to drive the uptake of the least polluting vehicles, and bring the UK into compliance with EU air quality targets.
“The committee rightfully recognises that government incentives are needed to establish a self-sustaining low-emissions vehicle market. The BVRLA has repeatedly asked for in-life incentives that would benefit drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles, but the government has failed to act.”
Elsewhere in the report, MPs said the government must give councils greater powers to improve traffic movement. Keaney added: “We welcome this move. It’s important to design cities that encourage a smoother flow of traffic, and councils should be thinking about which road layouts minimise congestion and prevent stop-start motoring which increases NOx emissions.”
“Progress to improve air quality in cities is already being made, and the rental and leasing industry is leading the way, pioneering new integrated transport solutions such as car clubs, and investing in ultra-low emission vehicles.
“BVRLA members operate the newest, cleanest, most environmentally-friendly vehicles on UK roads, while their innovative range of new mobility services encourage motorists to adopt more sustainable transport habits.”