How your business fleet can prepare for Manchester’s ambitious air quality plans

Emissions legislation is emerging as a number one priority as towns and cities across the country try to improve urban air quality - and Manchester is no exception.

Manchester has made an ambitious commitment to play its full part to become a zero carbon city by 2038 - 12 years earlier than previously planned and the first Council to make such a commitment to tackle global climate change.

In this blog we look into what these plans include and how local businesses can prepare.

Manchester’s air quality plan

Manchester has committed to a 13% year-on-year reduction in emissions from 2018 onwards to reach its target becoming zero carbon by 2038.

Part of the plans include working with businesses and housing providers to help them to become more energy-efficient and with Transport for Greater Manchester to encourage further uptake of public transport, cycling and walking, by investing in new infrastructure.

Various cities across the UK are discussing implementing clean air charging zones to discourage high-polluting vehicles from entering the city centre. For example, the Leeds Clean Air Zone will be charging non-compliant (pre-Euro VI) HGVs, buses and coaches a daily fee of £50 to enter the zone, while taxis and private hire vehicles will incur a £12.50 charge each day.

CO2 and NOx emissions are expected to fall due to an increasing uptake of Euro VI emissions standard diesel vans and trucks.

However, for now, Manchester has opted not to implement a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), as the council concluded that this will not speed up compliance with the air quality limits.

Instead, funding has recently been approved to improve traffic flow and monitor congestion in the Manchester city region.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, said: “This a small but critical step towards tackling congestion and the associated issue of poor air quality – which is made worse by standing traffic.”

Burnham is expected to meet environment secretary Michael Gove to discuss the issues later this year and an outline business case on the options will be presented to councils in January 2019.

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How your business can prepare

Operators face specific challenges when it comes to upgrading their fleets to meet Clean Air Zone requirements. Vans and trucks are more expensive assets than the average car, and tend to be operated on a longer ‘fleet cycle’ before being replaced.

The 2018 BVRLA industry outlook report concluded that Clean Air Zone developments will have a positive impact on rental and leasing as more and more people are taking an interest in it.

2019 is set to be the ‘Year of the Fleet Review’, driven by the need to meet emission standards, respond to a change in motoring tax or just present the ‘right image’ for their own business or their customers.

Now is the time for businesses to look at ways they can address air quality in their fleet such as looking at whether to retrofit, purchase or hire new, emission-friendly vehicles.

We know that making vehicle purchasing decisions for your business in the current climate is no easy feat. That’s why our customers choose to opt for Manchester van hire instead. To help you weigh up the best option, we’ve put together this handy guide on choosing the right vehicle acquisition option for your company. Download it for free below.

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