In response to news today (6 April 2020) that the government is postponing the introduction of all Clean Air Zone (CAZs) until 2021, Natalie Chapman, Head of Urban Policy at FTA comments:
“As the business organisation representing the logistics sector, FTA has been urging government to delay the introduction of CAZs urgently to allow businesses to focus their efforts on keeping goods moving throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, so we are so pleased to receive a letter today from Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister, Rebecca Pow MP, to confirm the implementation of the schemes will indeed be postponed until at least January 2021.
“While FTA and its members support fully the government’s ambition to improve air quality across the UK, to achieve compliance with the scheme businesses would have to undertake significant work and planning. With the industry focusing all its attention on ensuring the public, supermarkets and other retailers continue to receive the essential items they need during the pandemic, logistics businesses simply do not have the resources to dedicate to preparing for the imminent introduction of CAZs. In addition, supplies of technology, equipment and trucks are being disrupted by the pandemic, making it harder for businesses to upgrade their fleets to meet the emission standards required of the schemes.
“Once the immediacy of the coronavirus crisis comes to an end, FTA will continue to work with Defra and cities including Birmingham and Leeds, whose zones were due to come into force this year, to ensure the detail of the schemes take into account the needs of businesses whilst delivering improvements to air quality.”
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. FTA is one of the biggest business groups in the UK, supporting, shaping and standing up for safe and efficient logistics. We are the only business group in the UK that represents all of logistics, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.
For more information please visit www.fta.co.uk