New Clean Air Zone rules to get rid of 'unnecessarily complex' restrictions

Clean Air Zone payments could soon be completely altered with calls from a leading motoring pressure group. Experts at the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) claimed the localised nature of Clean Air Zones made them “unnecessarily complex”.

Instead, the group is calling for a “national committee” which will offer “greater consistency” for motorists. It warned in a recent manifesto: "We welcome Clean Air Zones (CAZs) for the positive impact they have on the environment. However, their localised nature, with a plethora of different rules and methods of payment,means they are unnecessarily complex for national fleets to deal with.

"We would like to seethem instead steered by a national committee that creates greater consistency around their operation, especially when it comes to charging, which should use simple, effect andautomated technological solutions. CAZs are effectively a form of taxation and payment should be easy."

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It argues in its latest manifesto, which was released last week, that "Clean Air Zones should be co-ordinated nationally". It adds: "While the picture for electric company cars has been very much positive, electric vans areproving more difficult. The market share for battery electric light commercial vehicles in 2023 was 5.9%. This was unchanged from 2022 and included several months where registrations fell compared to the previous year.

"This is evidence of worrying stagnation in the market and a trend that was reflected in the latest Climate Change Committee progress report which warned that “electric van sales are still lagging and remain significantly off track” when compared to its pathway. It’s also worth bearing in mind the government’s 70% target for zero emissions vans by 2030.

"Fleets are eager to make the electric van transition work but are struggling. Challenges withboth public and private infrastructure, regulation, and the affordability and availability ofsuitable product, are all holding back the move to electric vans."