As the 2020 deadline for clean air zones in five cities across the UK draws ever nearer, many businesses, government bodies and indeed motorists are beginning to speculate how it will impact them once the zones are introduced.

As these zones will particularly affect the freight industry, we are taking a look at what they are, and how industries and motorists are preparing.

What are the clean air zones?

Announced in 2015, the clear air zones form part of the governments Air Quality plan, which aims to reduce the amount of pollution, thus improving air quality.

Specifically, clean air zones are areas designated by local authorities, within which certain measures have been put in place to improve the air quality. These will include charged zones and non-charged zones, with charging zones requiring a fee to be paid on vehicles that fail to meet certain standards with regards to emissions.

The five cities that will introduce these zones come 2020 will be Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton, with each local council responsible for planning and implementing the clean air zone.

How will clean air zones impact the freight industry?

For the road freight industry, these changes could mean some substantial fees on the horizon for those driving within these zones. However, some companies are currently weighing up their options as to how they can adapt their product and/ or processes to ensure they are within the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable when entering these zones.

A recent example of a company doing just this is gas supplier, Calor, which is currently in the process of innovating its product range with alternative fuels, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and BioLP, which is made from waste and renewable vegetable oil. These products will ultimately provide the ideal solution for those freight forwarders operating within clean air zones.

With more cities across the UK investigating the viability of introducing their own clean air zones, freight forwarders must begin to analyse the impact of these changes on their day to day operations as well as implementing any appropriate changes.

Keep up to date with the introduction of clean air zones by following Grace Overseas on Twitter.

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