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January 23 2019
By Tim Deakin

Tim is Editor of routeone and has worked in both the coach and bus and haulage industries.

Don't be afraid to shout up about the industry...

Low Emission Zones are coming – but are attitudes softening otherwise?

It looks like one or two local authorities’ views of commercial vehicles’ impact on urban air quality are starting to soften.

Whether that’s because they recognise that forcing adoption of alternative fuels will result in a cost that is passed on to either the end user or local or national government, or that they now recognise that Euro 6 is the easiest and quickest way to foster reductions in NOx and PM, is unclear.

What is important is that they are listening. In Oxford, a consultation on earlier proposals for a zero-emission zone, and roadside data generated since the introduction of more Euro 6 buses, has caused a change of heart.

No doubt playing its part was engagement by the major local operators. In a political hotbed they will be well-versed in such an art, but there is no reason why other operators many miles from Oxford should not act in the same manner when asked for their views.

The whole industry has a part to play in communicating the deleterious effects that ill-considered yet well-meaning plans to tackle urban air quality will have on it.

If you’re a coach operator, your patience may well have been thinned by ongoing issues surrounding the certification of Euro 6 retrofit kits. There is finally a sign that a widespread solution to that is imminent, but there is little indication that a ‘go anywhere’ electric coach will be possible and nor has much concrete been said about modest engine-off range.

And make no mistake, in future ZEZs – long-term proposals for which will follow Oxford’s as sure as night follows day – such capability will be part of the aspirations. Don’t be shy about saying just how well the industry is doing in terms of emission reduction already.

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ADL 2019