Leeds City Council is making moves to help out those working in the haulage industry by re-working a few regulations and encouraging governmental support. To begin with, the fee for non-Euro-6 HGV’s entering the city’s Clean Air Zone is being reduced from £100 to £50. Drivers will welcome the chance to save a bit of cash and make their haulage jobs in the area more profitable and this reduction in fees is the first of several suggested changes. Read on for more.
As well as reducing the fee, the council plans to scale back the charging zone boundary. This will mean less of an economic impact on the businesses using the routes, with a little more leeway to travel free of charge. They are also suggesting that drivers should only be charged once per day, no matter how many CAZ’s they enter while carrying out their haulage jobs. This policy is being pushed on a national level and, again, the economic impact for companies will be significantly reduced if successful.
In addition, the local council is calling on the government to aid haulage businesses in other ways. Both retrofit accreditation and manufacturing funding have been suggested as ways to increase the number of low-emission vehicles being approved and available for local haulage companies. The impact of this could be huge, particularly if the idea spreads to other large cities with similar volumes of traffic.
Doing Their Bit
The Leeds City Council has not stopped there. They have recently introduced a few strategies for their own fleet, with the view to further lowering harmful emissions (clearly they can’t get enough of being eco-friendly). Already they have one of the largest local authority fleets of ‘green’ vehicles, but have promised to buy a further 200 electric vans by the year 2020. This action could also encourage other fleet owners to follow suit and invest in electric or alternative fuel vehicles.
The council has also appealed to have a refuelling station built for HGV drivers to use, where alternative fuels including CNG, LNG and (eventually) hydrogen will be available to purchase. Having more refuelling stations will increase the number of haulage jobs that can be completed using low-emission vehicles, since drivers will not have to limit themselves quite as much to the proximity of fuel stations.
Will This Be Enough?
The industry holds out hope for a positive response from the government regarding these potential changes as they have the potential to dramatically reduce not only harmful emissions, but overheads for haulage companies as well. It may seem expensive to finance the development of fuel stations, for example, but in the long run, having a more eco-friendly delivery industry will benefit everyone in the wider community.
In a world where more and more businesses are using more and more resources, any success in reducing emissions and creating a ‘greener’ transport industry should be greatly encouraged. In the future, with more initiatives like these ones, haulage jobs could end up being completely eco-friendly – and that’s certainly something to be celebrated!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage jobs with available drivers. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.