FTA welcomes Nottingham’s bespoke air quality plan

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Nottingham City Council and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have agreed the city does not require a charging low emission zone to meet its air quality targets, prompting the Freight Transport Association to hope other cities will adopt the same “common-sense attitude” to clean air policies.

FTA policy manager for the Midlands, Chris Yarsley, pointed out that it is important for any quality improvement scheme to be designed for a city’s unique needs. “What works for one city may not be suitable for another – and this result shows the authorities are listening and adapting. The decision to overturn the mandate that Nottingham must introduce a CAZ sets a welcome precedent that government will consider more tailored plans that reflect the needs of each community.”

Nottingham plans to improve its air quality by implements a measures such as retrofitting 171 buses with technology to reduce emissions, supporting an increase in low emission taxis and introducing a taxi rank with charging points.

Yarsley believes that “this is positive news for local businesses.” Vehicles that don’t meet Euro 6 requirements will no longer be faced with heavy penalties as they complete their work, as was originally laid out in the planned CAZ. “These vehicles are an essential part of the city’s local economy,” continued Yarsley, “and it’s crucial their vital importance is recognised throughout air quality consultations. Nottingham’s plans will produce the same air quality improvements – if not more – without penalising hard-working vehicle operators.”

Nottingham is the first local authority to have its air quality plan approved and Derby City Council is also currently presenting its case against a CAZ.