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22 May 2018

UK transport operators raise concerns about financial impact of clean air policies

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

Over 85% of road transport professionals at the Microlise Transport conference believe measures to improve air quality will have a negative financial impact on their businesses. The findings come from a poll of 1,200 delegates at the road transport event in Coventry, UK.

In addition, 92% think the needs of the transport industry are either not being considered, or only partially, in relation to the introduction of clean-air and low-emission zones.

Three-quarters of respondents believe the government is unfairly legislating against the transport industry, while 44% think running a transport operation is harder now than it was 12 months ago.

On the run-up to the end of Q3 2017, the road transport industry moved more than 150bn tonnes of goods – a 3% increase on the preceding 12 months. For the same period, vehicles travelled 1% fewer miles than a year earlier.

Half of the delegates said the biggest opportunity for the industry lay in the use of technology.

Two-thirds of participants said they already have alternative fuel vehicles in their fleet and 78% intend to trial alternatively-fuelled vehicles as they come to market. However, 65% of respondents believe diesel will still power more than half of their fleets by 2025.

Speaking on the topic of clean air zones, Richard Burnett, Road Haulage Association chief executive, says: “I have spent 30-plus years in this industry and have never known it to be surrounded by so many issues as it is today. But clean air isn't just about trucks - it affects everyone.”

Scott Gibbons from the National Counter-Terrorism Policing headquarters highlighted the importance of preventing heavy goods vehicles-related terrorism.

Two-thirds of respondents said they had not made any changes directly as a result of recent attacks while the remainder has no specific processes or policies relating to the issue.

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