Businesses, their employees and private motorists must
make behavioural changes and switch to more sustainable vehicles and modes of
transport, according to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association
The organisation was responding to the recent government
consultation on air quality outlining what the Association wants to see
incorporated into future government policy, which includes Mobility Credits.
The government will now consider the responses to the air
quality consultation that looked at what additional measures were required to
support the local introduction of plans to reduce transport emissions.
Although supportive of government’s commitment to
improving air quality the Association urges policymakers to consider a
carefully blended set of incentives and restrictions which ensures that
measures introduced do not cripple the economy or punish people, but encourage
long-term behaviour change which moves people and businesses towards cleaner
In its submission, the BVRLA made recommendations to:
- Ensure that the introduction of Clean Air Zones
acted as a catalyst for innovative schemes such as Mobility Credits which would
give people credits to use for occasional vehicle rental, hours of car club use
and public transport.
- Support businesses and consumers through a
managed transition, allowing small and medium sized businesses time to make
fleet adjustments in line with their normal cycle without incurring unnecessary
- Offer improved fiscal incentives for the uptake
of ultra-low emission vehicles such as extending the current incentives for
electric vehicles to cover not just the first owner of the vehicle, but
subsequent owners too.
- Explore the possibility of ‘green lanes’ on
particularly congested and pollution generating routes in which only vehicles
with low emissions could drive.
BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “Clean Air Zones
are coming to many of our largest urban areas and you only have to look at some
of the recent local adverse reaction from the taxi community in Leeds to see
they have the potential to significantly impact local people and businesses.
“For many, their local Clean Air Zone will be the first
tangible evidence of the government’s drive to improve air quality. It’s vital
that their design and implementation encourages growth and enhances rather than
impedes people’s ability to get around and transport goods. We need to see a
consistent approach to signage, charging and restrictions to minimise confusion
and avoid non-compliance.
“We are calling for a carefully managed transition that
encourages people and businesses to use more sustainable vehicles and modes of
transport. Crucially, it must be done in a way that encourages people and
businesses to make long term changes in their behaviour. Hence our strong
advocacy of our Mobility Credits initiative which will help remove thousands of
the most polluting vehicles from the roads.
“If the government and local authorities get this wrong,
public and business support will be lost, and the economy and people’s quality
of life will suffer.
“The key to getting a quick and effective transition will
lie in government’s ability to implement a practical and workable solution
which considers fleet operating cycles as well as offering incentives and
support to operators.
“Meanwhile our members, whose fleets are on average 8%
cleaner than the national average, stand ready to offer advice and provide
individuals and businesses with the appropriate clean and cost-effective
solution to meet their needs. This will be particularly helpful to those living
and working in and around the areas earmarked for Clean Air Zones.”