The rejection of a charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in Southampton is a boost to the port as well as local businesses, according to FTA, which represents the UK’s logistics industry. The introduction of the zone would have damaged its local economy and vital port while failing to deliver swift improvements in air quality for the city, according to Rebecca Kite , Environmental Policy Manager at the FTA. She was speaking after the announcement by Southampton City Council today (9 January 2019) that the city does not require a charging low emission zone to meet its air quality targets.
“While the logistics sector is fully committed to reducing its environmental impact, it is of the upmost importance that any air quality scheme reflects the unique needs of each place. The proposed charging CAZ would have brought thousands of businesses and operations into its scope, causing operating costs to soar and irrevocably damaging its local economy. Most worryingly, the bustling Port of Southampton, which is UK’s second largest container terminal, would have been included in the Zone.”
Kite continued: “This is extremely positive news for local businesses and those regularly using the port. The decision recognises the importance commercial vehicles play in keeping the city’s economy thriving –delivering the goods and services businesses need to operate – and FTA is pleased these vehicles are not in line to receive heavy fines. FTA is looking forward to working with the council to develop a series of non-charging measures. While the logistics sector recognises the role it must play in improving air quality, it is important that all types of vehicles are taken into consideration when designing an air quality plan. The council recognised a CAZ was not the most effective way to achieve improvements in air quality; we hope other cities learn from this decision and adopt the same common-sense approach.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain 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.
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