Clean air zone

Are you a business owner or logistics manager who feels a little (or a lot) confused about the continually changing landscape of clean air zones and what it means for your fleet of HGVs? You’re not alone.

With plenty of new clean air zones popping up, it’s hard to keep up with all the updated regulations and what that means for HGVs. Here at Transmode, we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know about Trucks and Clean Air Zones.

So, if you’re left wondering “what does a clean air zone mean?”, “what does a clean air zone mean for an HGV?”, or “what does it mean for the UK Logistics industry?”, keep reading…

What Does a Clean Air Zone Mean?

A clean air zone (CAZ) is an area where the UK government has taken action to improve air quality by targeting road emissions. They form a significant feature of the UK’s Road to Zero strategies and can be broken into four types.

  • Class A – buses, coaches, taxis, and private hire vehicles.
  • Class B – all of the above, plus heavy goods vehicles.
  • Class C – all of the above, plus vans and minibuses.
  • Class D – all of the above, plus cars and motorbikes (optional).

The cities currently under the CAZ scheme are Portsmouth (Class B); Bath and Bradford (both Class C); Birmingham and Bristol (both Class D). Further cities including Greater Manchester are set to join the initiative soon.

CAZ operations run 24/7 while owners of vehicles that do not meet low emissions standards have six days to make a payment after entering the clean air zone.

How Does It Affect an HGV Vehicle?

The charge for entering a CAZ for an HGV owner can be up to £100 per day depending on the city and the classification of your vehicle. To avoid charges altogether, the heavy goods vehicle must meet Euro VI CAZ standards. You can learn the rating of your vehicles by checking their logbooks.

Given other financial challenges posed by the cost of living crisis, as well as issues like fuel tax cuts, many business owners cannot afford to fall victim to the excessive daily charges. So, when asking “how does it affect logistics?” It depends largely on the classification of the vehicle(s) and the size of your fleet.

There are a few possible responses to consider, such as;

  • Upgrading the HGV vehicles that you use to models that meet Euro VI standards so that you can avoid penalty charges.
  • Using a dedicated freight logistics software package to help drivers avoid clean air zones.
  • Be sure to only send the modern low-emission vehicles into the cities where CAZ initiatives are in place.

If you plan to use CAZs with HGVs that are Euro V or below, it is important to create a business account that lets you manage payments for multiple vehicles with ease. Whichever route you take, it is vital that you keep the safety of your freight in mind while also looking for cost-effective solutions.

Stay on the Road to Success

Clean air zones do present another logistical challenge but should ultimately be seen as a positive feature as they help society (and your business) on the road to net zero.

Still, if you have any logistic queries about clear air zones or any related issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts today.

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