As part of the Government’s strategy to improve air quality across the UK, discouraging the use of older, more polluting, vehicles is key. The goal is to reduce the number of areas in the UK where air pollution breaches legal limits, and city by city, we are helping local, regional and transport authorities kick-start their ‘Clean Air Strategies’.
March 14th sees GREENFLEET arrive back in the North East. Hosted by Gateshead Council, GREENFLEET NORTH EAST is being held at The Marriott Newcastle-Gateshead, MetroCentre and is FREE to attend for fleet professionals looking to explore the very latest in ultra-low emission vehicle technology.
The Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) informed Gateshead Council early in 2017 that it was to be named in its consultation due to be published in May 2017 on the Draft UK Air Quality Plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide. Gateshead has reacted by putting plans in place to combat air quality issues in the region, which at its most extreme, would include a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), where targeted action would be taken.
Gateshead Council were subsequently formally directed by the secretary of state in July 2017 when the final plan was published. The Direction requires the production of an initial plan that will set out the case for change and is the first stage in identifying, exploring, analysing and developing options for measures, which Gateshead Council will implement to deliver compliance in the shortest possible time.
The Council has given priority to taking steps to meet the requirements of the Secretary of State’s Direction, but that has not prevented other notable measures to improve air quality being completed or continuing to be worked upon. They include:
- Cleaning Private Hire Vehicles and Hackney Carriages through changes to vehicle licensing policy. The study has commenced. It will include a best practice review and consultation with local drivers and operators. Gateshead Council’s current policy for hackney carriage and private hire vehicle licensing permits but Gateshead Council LAQM Annual Status Report 2018 xii does not encourage the use of environmentally friendly vehicles. It is recognised that it is necessary to amend the Council’s licence policies to actively encourage the use low emission and electric vehicles.
- Car club & charging: This project has provided an additional four ULEV cars (2 Electric, 2 hybrids) around the town centre at two locations (Low Fell and Saltwell). Charging infrastructure and signage etc. has been upgraded/installed at these locations to meet requirements.
- Fleet Upgrade: Four new Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) electric vans (Nissan eNV200) have been introduced into the Council’s fleet for specific use in AQMA to replace 4 diesel vans. They are used during the day by area supervisors and at night for care call home visits removing 36,000 diesel miles per year from the AQMA.
- Instigating Change: The council is looking to engage with local businesses, in the push to accelerate change across the region. Highlighting the very latest ULEV innovations, combined with expert advice on workplace charging and public infrastructure, is sees as the quickest route to making a significant impact on the air quality issues that the region faces… And GREENFLEET North East is designed to help them and YOU do just that!
Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) have a significant role to play in the North East of England cleaning up its air. Gateshead and their neighbouring authorities have a strategy, and this event will feature keynote presentations and group sessions that will enable YOU to find out more, and more importantly, the role that YOUR BUSINESS has to play.