London emission zone charge to hit small distributors

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Smaller food firms will be hit worst by the introduction of the Ultra-Low-Emission Zone
Smaller food firms will be hit worst by the introduction of the Ultra-Low-Emission Zone
Smaller food processors and distributors are expected to be most affected by the impending introduction of the Ultra-Low-Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London.

Due to be implemented in central London from 8 April 2019 and then inner London from 25 October 2021, the drivers of any vehicles heavier than 3.5t that do not meet the ULEZ Euro 6 standard will have to pay £100 per day on top of the Congestion Charge.

Shane Brennan, chief executive of the Food Storage & Distribution Federation, told Food Manufacture​ that this cost would put “significant pressure on food distribution businesses, especially the smaller ones”​.

Upgrading to new standard

Hauliers across the industry are doing all they can to bring forward the upgrading of vehicles to the necessary Euro 6 standard,”​ he said. “This has meant a significant acceleration in sales of new Euro 6 vehicles.

“The Road Haulage Association estimates that Euro 6 standard engines will make up just under half of the HGVs on the road by the end of 2019. This has seen many vehicles being replaced earlier in the cycle than would normally be the case.

“Doing this is challenging for any business, but particularly for smaller operators. Bigger businesses also have the option of organising fleets, so that newer vehicles are used in London and older vehicles elsewhere in country, not a viable choice for smaller operators.”

Related topics: Regulation, Supply Chain, Environment

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