Are You Ready? Less Than A Year To Go
As most (but worryingly not all) Birmingham companies are aware the council plans to introduce a ‘clean air zone’ in 2020 to meet the government’s request for a ‘greener city’. Although the details are being finalised, it will affect all businesses who trade within or have employees travelling within the A4540 middle ring road. We have been preparing for this change to Birmingham’s city centre so that we’re in the perfect position to help you get it right.
From 2020 many cars currently driving in or out of this area and over half the commercial vehicles utilising these routes will have to pay a daily charge to enter the zone. This will be a major challenge for business, both from an operational perspective where you need to move goods but also from a recruitment/retention perspective as your employees may need to make alternative arrangements, these could include a new car but could also include a new employer with a different location.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR DRIVERS?
This is not London but it will likely follow much of the same blueprint. We are expecting ANPR cameras and signage on entry and it can be expected that the zone will grow in the future. From 2020 anybody taking a car over the A4540 will have to pay a fee of £8 if they drive a petrol registered before 2006 or a diesel registered before 2015! That’s half the cars on the road today. Most worryingly unlike London there really isn’t a viable public transport alternative in many cases, councillors are on record stating that public transport in the city is ‘not fit for the purpose’ and the timescales to resolve this are probably over 5 years away.
HOW DOES IT IMPACT COMMERCIALS?
The timing of this couldn’t be worse, many companies are tied into contracts where they have to deliver to the city centre with no room to renegotiate based on this new overhead, especially with all the growth in the city right now, and it could be as much as £100 a day per vehicle!
HOW CAN I MINIMISE IMPACT?
There are many things you can do but the time to act is running out, electric vehicles are moving forwards at a great pace and are absolutely viable for commercials and cars for many, you can even introduce schemes where you open up electric vehicles to employees from payroll deductions offering them huge savings. The charging infrastructure is developing in Birmingham but funding is available for charging at home or work. If you have older commercial vehicles you can also retrofit them to comply with the restrictions although you need to work out if this is more economical than replacing them or hiring when needed.
HOW CAN FLEET EVOLUTION HELP?
As a Midlands based business who are GoUltraLow accredited and members of the low carbon vehicle partnership. We are experts in greening company fleet and employees’ motoring. You can find out more about greening your fleet here.
To support businesses through this difficult process we are offering free of charge consultations in 2019 to allow you to prepare for the changes. To book your consultation click Here’s my calendar link to make finding time easy.
The consultations last around 45 minutes and will help us compile a report identifying your current carbon footprint, exposure to the changes and simple steps you can take today to reduce both. It’s an invaluable tool and if you do decide to take up any of the recommendations we’d hope you’d work with us but there is no commitment to do so. Just remember less than 400 days to go…