Devil in the detail

Leeds City Council has finally confirmed the criteria hauliers need to meet for clean air upgrade funding.

They’ll have to provide evidence as where their vehicles are based, their emissions standard and how often they’ll be entering the City’s controversial clean air zone.

This comes after city hall chiefs launched a competitive funding process enabling hauliers to apply for grants towards vehicle upgrades.

Under Government-approved plans, operators of pre-Euro VI trucks will face a £50 daily charge to enter an area of central Leeds from July 2020 at the earliest.

How it works made simple
Operators can apply for grants of up to £16,000 to upgrade or, if possible, retrofit a pre-Euro VI truck. Funding is available for up to five vehicles – £80,000.

They must be able to provide evidence of:
• The frequency of entry to the CAZ geographical area based on current operations
• Current Euro standard
•Where the vehicle/s have been based for the last 12 months.

Leeds will assess applications against a complex set of scoring data to determine an eligibility score.

The deadline for funding applications is 12.00, Friday 13 December – or sooner if the funding ‘pot’ runs out before that time.

How it works in detail
The Council will assess applications against a complex set of scoring criteria – a minimum eligibility score of 20 is needed.Leeds will rate the quality of the supporting evidence, which is multiplied against the score for the vehicles and base location (in effect multiplied by 1 for perfect application and 0.1 for bad one).

Here’s an example:
Lorry based outside the zone, spending 3 days per week in the zone, spending 30% time in the zone with a Euro V lorry (with a good application scoring 8/10).

In this example we have multiplied by 0.8 (8/10) for quality of the application = 17.7. This application would hit 20 points so would fail – it would require a perfect application (i.e. a perfect score of 1 by the officials) to reach the target to be eligible for funding.

We’ve run a number of scenarios against the scoring criteria. Here are our conclusions.

• If you’re based outside the Zone, the number of days entering the zone with a specific lorry is the most critical factor.

•It’s impossible to get any funding if you’re based outside the Zone and can’t prove a lorry enters the Zone at least twice per week.

So what does the RHA say?
According to Duncan Buchanan, RHA policy director England & Wales, “We believe the eligibility rules are discriminatory. Even if you’re based right next to the Zone, you’ll still find it difficult to get funding.

“This scheme is just a smokescreen for badly conceived government demands. It discriminates against some operators and is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“There are far better ways to achieve clean air that will be less disruptive for businesses, won’t put jobs at risk or waste local authority time and resources. A targeted phased approach would be a far better way to make the changes needed to clean our air quickly.”

Source: RHA