Leeds City Council Extends a Hand to Hauliers

By Alastair Graham - 

You might need to be sitting down when you read this because it’s not often that something like this happens: a local council has recognised that the burden of the Clean Air Zone charges will hit hauliers so hard that local business will suffer.

A picture of the city of Leeds

Leeds City Council is one of the local governments in the country that has decided to reduce the fee that they plan to charge non-Euro-6 HGV drivers for any haulage jobs that require entering the city’s designated Clean Air Zone. They have proposed halving the daily fee from £100 to £50.

More Carrot, Less Stick

The local government officials are calling on the government to take more positive action to help businesses and haulage firms find funds to transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.

While this might seem an obvious tactic to us in the industry, the national government seems to prefer a more punitive approach, with fines that are so hefty that taking on a haulage job in CAZs could become unprofitable.

Leeds City Council has also suggested that a policy of intercity charging be set up so that the payment of one fee per day allows a driver to enter multiple destinations with designated CAZs.

And that’s not all! The progressive northern thinkers have urged the government to stump up cash to help companies carry out HGV retrofitting so that emissions on older vehicles can be cleaned up.

Leading By Example 

Too often those of us who are on the ground running haulage jobs on a daily basis suffer the consequences of legislation whose theory doesn’t fit reality. Leeds has put its money where its mouth is, and has taken steps to ensure its own fleet runs in an environmentally-friendly manner.

  • 200 more electric vans to be purchased by the Council by 2020
  • A public access site to be set up in the city to enable HGVs to refuel with alternative fuels
  • Leeds City Council already operates the largest local authority fleet of low emissions vehicles in the UK

So there could be some good news for our members who bid for return loads that require entering Leeds City Centre’s Clean Air Zone. If their appeal to the government is successful, haulage jobs in this area won’t suffer a profit squeeze.

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