If you are a HGV or PSV operator, you will most likely be aware of the Clean Air Zones (‘CAZ’) being implemented around the country, which charge non-compliant vehicles each time they pass through a designated CAZ. Backhouse Jones, a leading law firm in the logistics sector, takes a look at what funding is available and how to get it. Backhouse Jones will join us on the 7th March for our Warehousing & Fulfilment Event to talk more about the topic. Get your ticket for the online and in-person event now.
To avoid being charged for driving your bus, coach, or HGV through a CAZ, the vehicle must meet the minimum standard of a Euro VI vehicle. Whilst funding is available for operators to upgrade or replace their non-compliant vehicles, the onerous application process and imminent deadlines are causing difficulties for many operators.
The following cities currently have clean air zones in operation:
• Bath has a Class C clean air zone.
• Birmingham has a Class D clean air zone.
• Bradford has a Class C clean air zone.
• Bristol has a Class D clean air zone.
• Portsmouth has a Class B clean air zone.
With future CAZs planned for the following cities:
• Greater Manchester (under review).
• Sheffield will start charging on 27 February 2023.
• Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead) will start charging on 30 January 2023.
Local authorities are offering funding through grants and financial support schemes to replace or retrofit non-compliant vehicles so that they meet emission standards, and therefore avoid the charges for driving through CAZs. To apply for funding operators will need to satisfy eligibility criteria and accurately and truthfully complete applications, which will be used to evaluate their eligibility for financial support.
The deadline for submitting HGV or PSV funding applications for the Bath, Bradford and Portsmouth CAZs have expired. However, applications for funding are still open for Birmingham, Bristol, Tyneside, Sheffield, and Greater Manchester.
The eligibility requirements for funding applications differ for each CAZ and include burdensome constraints, most notably, evidencing the frequency of entry into the relevant CAZ based on current commercial operations. Furthermore, operators are required to provide substantial evidence and data when applying for funding and will need to comply with certain CAZ specific terms and conditions.
Therefore, significant importance should be placed on understanding the specific requirements and what needs to be evidenced for each funding application. This is to ensure that eligible operators are not missing out on funding intended for them due to inaccurate or non-compliant applications. Local authorities are accepting appeals for unsuccessful applications, but there is limited information available on the prospect of successful appeals and given the constraint timeframes, getting it right first time is desired.
If you believe that you may be eligible for funding to upgrade or replace your non-compliant vehicle to meet emission standards, Backhouse Jones can advise on the prospects of a successful application or how to appeal unsuccessful one.
Backhouse Jones will be part of our Warehousing & Fulfilment Hybrid event in March.