Policymakers must work more closely with fleets to help ensure vehicle compliance with the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) – particularly if the zone does become zero-emission from 2025.
So says the BVRLA as it highlights how increased communication and support for operators could help with ambitions to cut pollution and congestion.
There’s less than a month to go until the ULEZ launches in London on 8 April, before expanding up to the North and South Circular in October 2021 – according to the BVRLA, many are also predicting that it will become zero-emission from 2025.
With fleet car replacement cycles currently standing around three to four years – and longer for vans – the association says the Mayor of London, Transport for London and the national government must work more closely with fleets in tackling the capital’s air quality problem.
BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “Fleets are already choosing the vehicles they will operate for the next few years. For many, 2025 is now. We urgently need a clear, long-term vision that includes the right support for SMEs and other essential road users.”
This includes providing more money for ULEZ mitigation measures that can help fleets and individuals either upgrade their vehicles or make the shift into more sustainable modes of transport.
The BVRLA also said that policymakers must ensure that future zero-emission zones are properly signposted, managed and co-ordinated and give adequate consideration to the cost and supply constraints surrounding electric vehicles; it also says that work should explore bottlenecks within London’s public EV charging network, ensuring priority access for commercial vehicle fleets and car share providers.
And the BVRLA is calling on policymakers to help promote the role that vehicle rental, leasing and car clubs can play in providing access to ULEZ-compliant vehicles; this also includes recognising the behaviour change potential of Mobility Credits, which encourage people to abandon vehicle ownership in favour of a credit that can be used on public transport, bike and car sharing.
“In many ways London’s ULEZ will be a vital reference point for other UK Clean Air Zones (CAZs). By engaging properly with fleets policymakers can have the maximum impact on pollution and congestion and learn some valuable lessons for other cities with similar issues,” added Keaney.
The association has also published a new factsheet outlining the role that the vehicle rental, leasing and car club sector can play in accelerating the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles and encouraging people to use more active, public and shared modes of transport. To access the factsheet, click here.