In response to the decision made by Bath & North East Somerset Council today (17 January 2020) to introduce a £9 daily fee for high-emission vans and £100 for HGVs and buses, Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager for the South West at FTA, the only business group that represents all of logistics, comments:
“A Class C charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is the worst option for businesses in Bath and the regional economy; it will directly impede the work of the region’s business community. FTA is disappointed by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s decision to proceed with an air quality scheme that will exclude private cars and place the heavy financial burden of improving the city’s air quality on commercial vehicle operators. This decision is tantamount to a stealth tax on the hard-working local businesses and vehicle operators which already contribute so much to the public purse and help keep Bath functioning by delivering the goods and services that supermarkets, schools, and other businesses need operate.
“While FTA and its members are fully supportive of the need to improve air quality in the UK’s cities, a charging CAZ is not the most effective method to do so; other solutions can deliver a better outcome in a quicker time frame, without damaging the local economy. In the view of FTA, Bath & North East Somerset Council would be better placed to concentrate on traffic management and encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.”
The planned scheme will now be shared with the government for final approval; if agreed, the Council is aiming to launch the CAZ in November 2020.
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.