David Watts, fleet consultant at the leasing and fleet management company, points out that only businesses with vehicles that routinely work in London or operate buses or trucks in other CAZ cities will really need to take immediate action.
He explained: “Some of the more dramatic statements being made across the fleet industry regarding the London ULEZ and potential CAZs in the Government’s original five mandated cities of Birmingham, Derby, Nottingham, Leeds and Southampton are not reflective of their likely effects which, for most fleets, will be minimal.
David said that it was important to draw a distinction between charging and non-charging Clean Air Zones. “Derby, Nottingham and Southampton have all declared that they will not introduce a charging zone, leaving only Birmingham and Leeds. While Birmingham is proposing to introduce a Class D zone, the same as London’s, Leeds is expected to operate a Class B which just impacts on buses, trucks and taxis or private hire vehicles.
“The impact of these measures on the vast majority of fleets will, therefore, be limited.” It should also be remembered, David added, that charging zones do not prohibit vehicles from entering. They simply levy a charge for non-compliant vehicles.
“The facts are that ULEZ/CAZ charges will not apply to cars and vans that meet Euro 6 diesel and Euro 4 petrol standards and timing is key. Although the London Ultra Low Emission Zone comes into effect in April, Birmingham’s doesn’t happen until 2020. Given typical replacement cycles, most fleet cars will meet these criteria by the time they come into effect.
“However, because their emissions legislation came later and their replacement cycles can be longer, there is a possibility that some vans might be affected in the short term in London and Birmingham but, even so, this should only form a small minority of fleet vehicles in operation. These should soon be de-fleeted or could be swapped with a compliant vehicle from elsewhere in the fleet.”