Air Pollution is Reaching Dangerous Levels!

Councils and communities are becoming increasingly worried about air pollution and the diminishing quality of air in our cities. As a result, seemingly a lot of cities will follow London’s footsteps and implement Clean Air Zones or Ultra-Low-Emission Zones.

What is a Clean Air Zone?

It’s essentially an area in which there is a dedication to reducing air pollution, therefore restricting vehicle usage. This is to directly tackle air pollution by reducing the number of cars on the road whilst encouraging public transport. Typically, it charges for the use of vehicles that don’t meet the required standards. Higher CO2 cars, vans, buses and other HGVs and LGVs will usually be subject to these charges.

For example, the proposed Low-Emission zone for Birmingham will (allegedly) see personal cars taxed between £6 and £12. Furthermore, taxis and LGVs can expect slightly higher emissions tax rates in the Clean Air Zone. Whilst buses, coaches and HGVs can expect to pay more than £50 (probably in the region of £100) per day.

Exemptions to the ruling will apply to some vehicles, such as petrol vehicles that meet Euro 4 standards (post-2005). The exemption also includes diesel vehicles that meet Euro 6 standards (post-2012).

What Does This Mean for Business?

There are obvious financial obstacles for businesses. Particularly for employees commuting into or out of the city regularly. There’s potential for high mileage business drivers to go through a few of these Clean Air Zones each day. The proposed zones range from Leeds to Birmingham to Southampton, to name just a few. On top of this, it’s looking like London’s Zone will expand to include a larger area. Due to this, it’s likely that other cities will follow this.

One option for employers is to update the company fleet. Ensuring employees are driving ULEVs where possible could greatly reduce potential new costs. Unbelievably, it’s possible for employers to put in schemes with access to these as benefits, with no cost to them.

For businesses such as hauliers, it will become important to ensure that day-to-day travel is logistically as efficient as possible. Keeping their vehicles well maintained will reduce pollutants.

It’s Not All Bad News for Car Owners Though…

Not only will you be lowering emissions in your area, but it’s also a great opportunity to get a new car. There are plenty of options for just add fuel car schemes that don’t even need a deposit! It’s the perfect opportunity for an upgrade.

Take a look at our guide for green business for some handy tips to get you started on becoming a green company.

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