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FTA calls for national scrappage scheme to support small businesses operating in polluted areas

Tue 25 April 2017 | Back to news list

Ahead of the anticipated Government’s Air Quality Plan announcement, FTA believes that national level fiscal measures should be announced to enable small business and vehicle owners to meet the costs of operating in new Clean Air Zones (CAZs).

While the announcement of the General Election has delayed the publication of the Government's plans to tackle air quality, these are now expected to be revealed after the local elections in early May. (See stop press update below.)

According to the FTA, a national scrappage scheme would support efforts to achieve air quality improvements whilst preventing an unsustainable burden falling on small businesses who fail to comply with CAZs, especially small and medium-sized operators and those utilising vans or specialist HGVs.

FTA says that the additional cost of compliance could be in excess of 150% of annual turnover for some SMEs.

Meanwhile, the UK’s commercial vehicle (CV) industry recently got together to demonstrate the vital role the sector has to play, and its support through investment in Euro VI trucks and vans for the air quality agenda. Organised by the motor trade body, the SMMT, at the start of the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham (which 23,000 people were expected to attend) the SMMT said that the latest trucks and vans on sale today are the cleanest in history.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "Commercial vehicles play an essential but often overlooked role in keeping Britain functioning, performing jobs and transporting vital goods and services that we all rely on every day.

"Nearly all our commercial vehicles are driven by diesel, and thanks to heavy investment by industry to develop world-leading low emission technology, the latest Euro VI CVs on our roads today are the cleanest and safest ever."

Stop press update: On 27 April the High Court ruled that the Government must publish its draft air pollution plan on May 9 - as soon as practical after the local elections on May 4 - and their final plans by 31 July.

At the time of writing, it was unknown if the government will appeal this decision, which could lead to the publication being delayed.

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