The FTA has said that UK air quality should be assisted with a national scrappage scheme. This comes ahead of the government’s air quality plan announcement.
The association said that it thinks the 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).” It added: “a national scrappage scheme would support efforts to achieve air quality improvements while preventing an unsustainable burden falling on small businesses who fail to comply with CAZs, especially small and medium-sized operators and those use vans or specialist HGVs.”
According to the FTA, its research has found that the additional cost of compliance could be in excess of 150 per cent of annual turnover for some SMEs.
“There is no question that we all have to continue to improve air quality – but it should be recognised that our air is getting cleaner all the time,” said Christopher Snelling, FTA’s head of national and regional policy. “The Government should be pursing measures that will provide the most health benefit for the least economic disruption.
“The proposed CAZs pose a serious risk to the viability of many small businesses based in these zones, and a real risk to jobs and local prosperity.
“When the CAZs are introduced, there will only be five years’ worth of compliant HGVs in the national fleet, meaning specialist operators and small businesses who tend to purchase second hand will face a massive cost burden if they are to upgrade vehicles automatically.
“The situation will be even worse for vans, where only two and a half years’ worth of compliant vehicles will be available. This is not long enough for a second-hand market in compliant vehicles to have come into existence, and thus requires an immediate purchase of a new vehicle, again threatening the way of life of many small businesses.”