The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) believes too much responsibility is being placed on local authorities to take action on the overall air quality issue, in light of the Government's recently released Air Quality Plan.
In its response to the draft: Air Quality Plan: Tackling Nitrogen Dioxide in our towns and cities: A Consultation CILT has criticised the Government for failure to "own" the issue and believes the plan to be "disappointing" and unlikely to achieve the overall aim for significantly improved air quality within the United Kingdom.
Within CILT's response, the leading membership body for logistics and transport professionals believes that:
- Government needs to provide stronger guidance and facilitate the sharing of lessons learned and best practice between local authorities that may have to implement Clean Air Zones (CAZs)
- Government needs to provide more political cover in the likely event that charging or exclusion-only zones will be required to achieve the stated objectives
- Treating the introduction of 'charging CAZs' as the last resort when all other non-charging measures can be shown not to be effective is unhelpful and disingenuous
- Government needs to investigate and be prepared to consider – as an alternative to charging CAZs - exclusion-only non-charging CAZs
- Buses are an essential part of the solution – providing acceptable alternatives to the private car for journeys
- Government should establish a CAZ Advisory Panel to provide guidance, lessons learned and advice to local authorities faced with designing, developing, evaluating and implementing CAZs and related measures
- Serious consideration should be given, as part of the planning and development consent process for the third runway, to the idea of Heathrow Airport being designated an Ultra Low Emission Zone
Daniel Parker-Klein, Head of Policy, CILT, says: "CILT will work with Government to support and devise a strong plan to tackle the air pollution problem. Transport and logistics has a major role to play in improving air quality and we will lead the industry in acting on and implementing plans to tackle the issue. The Government's proposals place an alarming amount of responsibility on local authorities and it is imperative that the guidance and plans put in place are adequately supported to be achievable within the given timeframe."