Green Motoring Expert Demands Improved Clean Air Zone Framework in UK

With the UK’s first Clean Air Zones (CAZs) due to launch next year, the country’s leading green motoring solutions expert is speaking out to challenge the inconsistencies across the new framework. Fleet Evolution, a motoring-focused benefits specialist, believes that greater consistency across the scheme, improved knowledge of Clean Air Zones, and more options for alternative business travel are essential if the initiative is to deliver real results.

The first Clean Air Zone in the UK is due to launch in Bath in March 2021. However, Bath will be only a ‘Class C’ CAZ city. This means that while buses, coaches, taxis, heavy goods vehicles, vans, and minibuses will be required to pay a charge if they do not meet the emissions standards, cars will be exempt. The second Clean Air Zone, scheduled for launch in June, will see the scheme rolled out across Birmingham. As the UK’s first ‘Class D’ city, drivers of cars will need to pay £8 per day if they exceed the emissions threshold, yet those who use their vehicles for work purposes can apply for an exemption.

Fleet Evolution believes that this proposed framework will fail to see success, citing both a lack of consistency across cities and a willingness to exempt employees as major flaws in the plan. In a bid to implement widespread change and address the gaps in the Clean Air Zone framework, Fleet Evolution has introduced a number of its own schemes, including the Salary Sacrifice Car Scheme to promote improved awareness of green motoring.

“The plan to introduce Clean Air Zones across the UK is definitely a step in the right direction, but although similar schemes in Milan and Paris are already proving to be highly effective, the current framework here in the UK fails to include cars used for business purposes, including commuting” says Andrew Leech, Founder and Managing Director of Fleet Evolution. “Businesses need to see that green motoring does apply to them, not only in terms of meeting the Government’s CO2 goals, but also in terms of employee satisfaction.”

Fleet Evolution surveyed employers and employees across 5000 small and medium sized enterprises during September 2020. The results showed that while 97% of employees support Clean Air Zones, just 38% of employers do the same. This disconnect between employers and employees holds the potential to significantly affect employee satisfaction, and may increase the risk of turnover as workers actively seek to work for businesses which share their beliefs.

Fleet Evolution’s longstanding salary sacrifice motoring scheme works in a similar way to childcare vouchers, providing workers with an opportunity to sacrifice a portion of their salary to save up to 45% on motoring costs with a low emissions vehicle. The motoring expert believes that the scheme could not only help to raise awareness of Clean Air Zones, but also encourage those outside of CAZ cities to take a more environmentally-friendly approach to travel, as well as providing firms with an attractive benefit to offer new and existing workers.

From now until Christmas, Fleet Evolution is running free 20-minute online sessions that offer an introduction to electric vehicles and the salary sacrifice scheme. Register here: www.fleetevolution.com/upcoming-events/event.

To find out more about Fleet Evolution, visit www.fleetevolution.com