BVRLA calls for government action

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has outlined its strategy for tackling road transport’s impact on UK air quality.

In response to the government’s recent UK Air Quality Plan, the BVRLA has urged policymakers to move from consultation to action as soon as possible. The Association is calling for a carefully blended combination of incentives and restrictions that encourage more sustainable travel behaviour but don’t punish people for decisions that have already been made based on previous government policy.

‘BVRLA members fully appreciate the urgent need to address air pollution in the UK, which requires a change in the way we travel and the vehicles we use,’ said chief executive Gerry Keaney. ‘Our sector has enormous buying power and provides advice to thousands and thousands of drivers and fleet operators. If the Government can deliver the right tax regime, incentives and guidance, we can have a huge impact in improving air quality across the country.’

The BVRLA has called on the government to provide a comprehensive set of Clean Air Zone guidance to ensure consistency in terms of standards, enforcement, timescales, and charges; work with the BVRLA in developing an engagement campaign to promote vehicle rental, leasing, car clubs and other potential solutions for businesses and individuals affected by the new Clean Air Zones; provide industry with confidence in the Euro 6 standards by legislating to ensure all compliant vehicles may be operated across the UK without additional cost or restrictions.

It also wants government to give a clear guarantee that it will not introduce any new motoring taxes that end up punishing businesses or individuals for vehicle purchasing decisions that were made based on previous government policy; ensure that any diesel scrappage scheme is both flexible and targeted. This should include providing support for companies looking to replace or retrofit older, more polluting commercial vehicles; continue to fund and support the Plug-in-Car and Plug-in-Van Grants, gradually adjusting the CO2 and zero-emission range requirements to ensure that the incentive keeps pace with advances in technology; and ensure a consistent tax policy to support the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.