Clean Air Zones: DEFRA and air quality  

Responding to the Government’s air quality proposals released on 5 May, John Newcomb, Managing Director of the BMF said the Government has ‘missed a golden opportunity’ to modernise the use of larger vehicles in cities. He said: “Builders merchants have a vital role to play if the Government is to meet its air quality ambitions. However, as it currently stands, Clean Air Zones have the potential to slow down construction, hamper delivery to our customers and increase the cost of running our members’ 4,800 branches across the UK.  

“Unlike private motorists, merchants have no choice but to use diesel vehicles to deliver to building sites. The Government has today missed a golden opportunity to help SMEs modernise and replace old lorries, trucks and vans with cleaner, greener models to comply with Clean Air Zones. We will continue to urge ministers in the next Government to introduce a diesel vehicle scrappage scheme to alleviate harmful emissions from HGVs & LGVs.”  

"We are also concerned that Clean Air Zone charges will significantly increase the cost of delivering vital building supplies into towns and cities. Local economies depend on housing and other construction projects that create jobs and growth. This is why the BMF is keen to work with any local authority as they implement a Clean Air Zone so that their local building supply chain is not adversely affected”.