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Birmingham firms face ‘substantial costs’ from green travel plan, warns Freight Transport Association

Birmingham firms face ‘substantial costs’ from green travel plan, warns Freight Transport Association

🕔11.Nov 2013

Plans to clean up Birmingham city centre by banning ‘dirty’ vehicles could add substantial costs to businesses, the Freight Transport Association has warned.

The FTA was responding to the city council’s 25-year Birmingham Mobility Action Plan, which outlines proposals to introduce green travel zones and raises the possibility of banning vans and trucks with high C02 emissions.

The BMAP looks at ways to reduce the number of car and freight vehicles coming into the city and sets out proposals to boost public transport as well as floating the idea of a French-style local transport tax on businesses and charges for workplace parking spaces.

One of the council’s ideas, green travel zones, could see firms required to have supplies delivered not to their own premises but to local distribution centres and then making arrangements to pick up deliveries using electric and low-emission vehicles, scooters, and even by bicycle and on foot.

The entire city centre could be turned into a low emissions zone, with only the greenest vehicles permitted to enter the area.

The BMAP states:  “A single delivery could be made to a central distribution centre and the supplies distributed internally within the site by a green vehicle such as a cargo bike or electric buggy.

“By working together businesses at these sites could not only save money but also significantly reduce the number of delivery vehicles travelling to and from the site each day.”

The document also proposes introducing a ‘sliding scale’ to govern deliveries of goods which would involve banning ‘dirty vehicles’ from entering the city centre during the day. In order to encourage green in initiative, reduced or zero emissions vehicles would be permitted to enter the central area during the day.

The BMAP continues:  “The green travel zone concept will go further than just targeting reduced car commuting. The economic zones will be major generators of business travel and freight, of various types and sizes.

“As part of the area travel planning exercise the city council will work with developers and businesses on these sites to seek ways to reduce impacts from freight and logistics.”

Sally Gilson, FTA policy manager, said: “Encouraging modal shift from private cars to public transport is a step in the right direction however I am concerned that plans for low emission zones would cause substantial costs for industry.

“With regards to any possible city road charging, freight is an essential road movement and should therefore be exempt.”

The Association said that it is pleased that the BMAP states it will ensure that measures to improve efficiency and movement of people across the city also has a positive impact on the movement of goods.

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