FTA Urges Operators to Look Ahead to Help Counteract Urban Changes and Lorry Bans across the UK

FTA Urges Operators to Look Ahead to Help Counteract Urban Changes and Lorry Bans across the UK

Some very significant changes are soon to be implemented within the UK, affecting the urban landscape and catalysing lorry bans across the country. Due to be introduced within the next two to three years, these are likely to have a significant impact upon operators, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has warned.

This is why the trade body has taken the step of urging operators to look ahead to their futures, and start to introduce plans that will help them to cope with such an upheaval, a topic that they intend to touch upon at their annual autumn Transport Manager Conferences.

According to an FTA spokesperson: “Cities across the UK will start levying prohibitively high charges on older HGVs and vans, for air quality reasons, between early 2019 and the end of 2020.

“London has plans that could see, at the same time, many HGVs banned from the capital for having insufficient direct vision. Operators need to plan procurement or other coping strategies now to ensure the business impact [of this] is minimised.”

This will be a central topic at their annual Transport Manager Conferences – one fully endorsed by sponsor Iveco. The trade body’s aim will be to not only explore the effects of such changes, but also to ensure that all attendees leave with the most contemporary information about what will happen where, which makes and models will be affected and to what degree, and how best to counteract such obstacles by being proactive and planning ahead.

At the current time, much of this information remains veiled and elusive. Although the government has been active in naming 32 local authorities that will take action to address air quality issues, it remains unclear at the present time which of these will introduce the sort of charging zone that will affect commercial vehicles. Thus, the primary goal of this FTA session will be to share their insights regarding when and where charges ought to be expected.

Additional information on the likely impact of the London Direct Vision Standard will also be shared with attendees. Expected to affect over half of the 12 tonne plus HGVs currently in existence, it is believed that this may see them banned from the city entirely by 2020.

In the words of Christopher Snelling, the FTA’s Head of National and Regional Policy, as well as the man charged with leading the session: “Over the next three years, a series of blanket restrictions will come into force in UK cities for HGVs and vans. With retrofitting of existing vehicles unlikely to be an option for most operators, transport managers need to be prepared for what is ahead, so the procurement of future fleets can be planned.”

For the ordinary operator, the potential impact of such rule changes could be extensive, with the only weapons to help combat such a fallout being the knowledge and information necessary to plan ahead and help safeguard the futures of hundreds of British fleets. This is something the FTA seem determined to provide, to the benefit of operators everywhere.