April 11, 2018
The world over, governments are waking up to the problems caused by vehicle pollution and the UK is no exception. In recent times, several cities in the UK have taken definite steps towards reducing the level of vehicle pollution.
Various city councils in the UK have implemented measures that are aimed at tackling vehicles that pollute the most, especially van, trucks, old buses, lorries and taxis.
Coercive action including the creation of Clean Air Zones, replacing old, polluting vehicles with modern, cleaner vehicles and discouraging private vehicles that do not meet the latest emission standards through fines are some of the things that city councils are putting into action.
At the same time, the government is promoting the use of electric vehicles as an efficient and effective solution to the rising demand for good quality vehicles.
Here is a look at how some of the prominent cities in the UK are dealing with vehicle pollution and the steps they are taking towards a cleaner environment.
Beginning with a proposal to introduce a congestion charge as well as workplace parking levy, the Oxfordshire County council is exploring various options to bring down chronic pollution and improve the air quality in Oxford, especially the city centre.
With vehicular pollution reaching alarming levels, a ‘zero emission zone’ became the need of the hour. This is a first of its kind concept introduced by the Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council.
The ‘zero emission zone’ aims at barring light commercial vehicles, buses, cars and non-zero emission taxis from Cornmarket Street, New Inn Hall Street, Queen Street, Market Street, Ship Street and St Michael’s Street from 2020.
The council then aims to take this forward from 2025 by excluding polluting vehicles from other roads that will include Castle Street, Magdalen Street, Magdalen Street East, Norfolk Street, Speedwell Street, George Street, the southern part of Worcester Street and Pembroke Street.
Many other parts of the city will be included in the ‘zero emission zone’ by 2030 as part of the city council’s proposal towards a cleaner and greener Oxford. The roads that will be considered include all roads within Hollybush Row, South Parks Road, Longwall Street, Beaumont Street, St Giles’, St Cross Road, part of Parks Road, Merton Street and Thames Street among others.
From 2035, all non-zero emission vehicles will be excluded from all the roads mentioned above.
The Oxford City Council is also proposing to reduce parking fees for electric vehicles, electric taxi-only ranks as well as electric delivery vehicle-only loading areas.
In London, the Mayor plans to start with retro-fitting of buses and licensing of new taxis that are zero-emission capable. From implementing an ultra-low emission zone by 2020 to a well-designed air quality improvement strategy by 2025, the city of London is gearing up to tackle its vehicle pollution problems head-on.
The Mayor has introduced some tough measures including a £10 toxicity charge (T-charge) on polluting vehicles in central London. With the inclusion of The Congestion Charge, drivers with polluting vehicles will have to pay £21.50. This is meant to pass on a clear message that their old, polluting vehicles are no longer welcome.
The City Council of London also aims at commencing the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) from 8 April 2019. It is estimated that the ULEZ will supersede the T-charge and enforce stricter emission standards that will result in reducing Nitrogen Oxide emissions by 50% in central London as well as a 40% reduction in emissions in inner London and 30% in outer London.
The Clean Vehicle Checker, which is a new vehicle scoring scheme, has been put in place since 17 October 2017. Londoners can now easily get to know how much toxic emissions their new cars emit.
The Greater Manchester Air Quality Action Plan 2016-2021 is the key to reducing vehicle pollution across Greater Manchester. Identifying the key areas such as reducing traffic, increasing traffic and vehicle efficiency and improving air quality are primary improvement actions that will be implemented in Manchester.
The City Council aims at encouraging public transport, cycling and walking thereby involving public participation. It is also coming up with plans to reduce traffic congestion and stop-start travel in order to lower emissions, especially during peak hours.
Moreover, the local authorities are also keen to replace older, polluting vehicles with new, cleaner, low-emission vehicles.
The city of Edinburgh is planning innovative electric vehicle charging zones in order to encourage the use of electric utility vehicles and to discourage the use of high emission cars and buses.
The first Electric Vehicle Action Plan published in December 2017 lists the key priorities of the council’s Sustainable Energy Action plan. Electric vehicles that will be part of the plan will include full battery electric, plug-in hybrid and Ultra Low Emission Vehicles.
The plan also proposes the creation of three strategic charging zones that will focus on ease of accessibility. Zone 1 will be the City Centre, Zone 2 will be the Residential Area and Zone 3 will be the Peripheral Areas.
Leeds City Council recently revealed plans to launch ‘Clean Air Zones’
High-emissions vehicles, including lorries, buses, taxis and private hire vehicles could face charges of £100 a day, to enter Leeds city centre.
If given the go ahead, the scheme could come into play from October 2018
This scheme is seen as a way to successfully deliver improvements to air quality in Leeds, and reduce the high levels of nitrogen dioxide, caused by diesel fumes
Bristol City Council have recently revealed plans to launch ‘Clean Air Zones’.
High-emissions vehicles, including lorries, buses, taxis and private hire vehicles could face the possibility of paying a fine every day, to enter Bristol city centre.
This scheme is seen as a way to successfully deliver improvements to air quality in Bristol, as the city centre’s current level of pollution (caused by nitrogen dioxide), is twice the legal amount!
Representatives from the city council and charities located in Cardiff, are looking to tackle traffic and vehicle pollution problems, with a series of plans.
A congestion charge has been proposed, where in which drivers will be charged for entering the busiest parts of the capital (from Monday to Friday).
It has also been suggested that driving speeds should be limited to just 20mph throughout all of Cardiff.
Other potential schemes include ‘Walking Friendly Centres’ and ‘Cycle to Work/School’ to encourage and reward people who leave their cars behind, especially for short journeys.
Newcastle City Council are set to reveal their initial plans to tackle air pollution, caused by city traffic by March 2018.
The focus is expected to be on promoting alternative modes of transport to the car – they will be looking to develop more reliable and efficient bus routes and improve cycling networks.
Other actions are set to include the further continued investment in the city’s road networks, as a way to try and reduce congestion and keep traffic moving – this will hopefully reduce the level of exposure to toxic vehicle emissions, for families living in the city.
Sheffield City Council is looking to take a hard line on vehicle pollution, as it aims to drastically reduce air pollution levels.
Sheffield is planning on fining motorists who leave their engines running, for longer than a minute after parking up.
The scheme will apply outside schools at first, before being rolled out at hospitals, care homes and eventually the entire city.
Offenders may face three written warnings, before an £80 fine is issued.
Sheffield has also launched the ‘Air Aware’ campaign that aims to encourage people to: walk or cycle more, switch car engines off when stationary, car-sharing to work and buying a low-emission vehicle.
The Belfast local councils are planning to introduce a number of plans to tackle vehicle pollution.
Local councils intend to bring in charging zones for the dirtiest & most pollutant vehicles.
It will be pumping millions of pounds into improving public transport and changing road layouts.
Belfast has also committed to the ‘Clean Air’ scheme and has set out plans to end the sale of all conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040 – this plan aims to have all cars at a level of zero emissions
Liverpool City Council recently revealed a new strategy to cut emissions and tackle vehicle air pollution.
The strategy includes the installation of Electric Vehicle charging station and zones, as well as the creation of ‘Clean Air Zones’.
The city announced plans to install around about 100 plug-in electric vehicle charging points. in the busiest areas, including supermarkets, high streets, leisure centre and parking lots.
Liverpool is also planning to introduce a diesel-free vehicle fleet to undertake council operations throughout the city centre by 2019 and across the whole city by 2024.
It’s also considering launching a campaign to encourage drivers to turn off their engines, rather than leave them idling around school zones.
March 2018 will also see the release of details, regarding the suggested charges for the introduction of the ‘Clean Air Zone’.
It is not just the council authorities who realise the need to curb vehicle pollution. Businesses everywhere are waking up to the fact that they need to take measures to reduce emissions from their activities, and that there are efficiencies to be had from doing so.
Electric vehicles are not just non-polluting; they are cost-effective and highly efficient.
With almost every city council in the UK promoting the use of electric vehicles, it is just a matter of time before they become the norm everywhere.
At Carryway, we are constantly looking for innovative service vehicle solutions to aid businesses and councils alike.
Our electric vehicles are ideal for use in a wide range of applications – from parks to resorts and last mile delivery to industrial facilities. Our growing list of clients is a testimony to the fact that businesses and individuals are increasingly becoming aware of how they can contribute to reducing vehicle pollution and promote healthy lifestyles.
Looking for electric vehicle options? Talk to us at Carryway and we would be happy to help you choose the right electric vehicle for you and your business. Whether you are looking to hire or buy, Carryway are here to help.
Let us take the step together to make the UK a better place to live, one electric vehicle at a time!
Interested in our products or have any queries? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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