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In favour of clean air

Nov 05, 2019

I was delighted when David Wells, the Chief Executive of the Freight Transport Association in the UK agreed to record an interview with us this month.  The FTA is one of the UK’s largest business organisations and specialises in everything to do with transport.  Indeed, my old father-in-law was once its president. I remember with some fondness and a little horror, back in the very early 1970s,  the annual invitation to the Christmas dinner dance with my then girlfriend, dressed in her best posh frock and me feeling very uncomfortable in black tie, wondering whether we really could manage a Fox Trot or Quick Step or should just hide in the corner like the other 20-somethings. It was all very grand.

Anyway, I was intrigued about one comment David made when asked about Clean Air Zones and whether the moving industry should have a special dispensation.  He said, “go for it”.  He did think that we have a very strong case as most moving vehicles spend much of their time stationary.  He said to point out to the local authority concerned the cost (to the customers) of replacing perfectly serviceable vehicles just because they are not Euro 6, when most of the time the engines are turned off.  If they think for a moment that they stand a chance of gaining a vote or two at the next election by helping out a deserving cause, they almost certainly will.

But it is rather up to you.  We all want clean air but fining a stationary vehicle is a bit daft, don’t you think? If your council is imposing a CAZ don’t just accept it, make a fuss.  Explain that moving is a special case and, according to David Wells, they might well agree with you.  Of course, this is not simply a UK phenomenon, it’s all over Europe.  Wherever you are the principle is the same, moving trucks spend most of their time not moving. In that respect, replacing them is not necessary and, environmentally counter productive as it costs the Earth to make a new one – perhaps literally.

On another note: nice to see you all in Chicago.  Two great conferences – IAM and PAIMA.  I have overview stories here and more detail in future issues.  If you didn’t go, try to make it next year in San Diego, one of my favourite US cities. 

Steve Jordan, Editor, The Mover magazine

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