Cardiff: A Clean Air Zone-Free City

Identified by some as integral to the UK’s efforts to tackle emissions across its major cities, clean air zones (or CAZs for short) have been right at the top of the agenda for some time now. There are very few who would disagree with the argument that more needs to be done to tackle congestion in these big cities, although there is descriptionion over the best way to approach this.

The difficulty is in finding a balance between continuing to support business and infrastructure whilst also putting in place measures that will make a long-term difference to emissions. Southampton, Nottingham and Derby are among some of the cities to have rejected plans for a CAZ in their region. Anyone working as a delivery driver in Cardiff will have likely heard the news that the Welsh capital has recently made the same decision.

Alternative Solutions

January 2018 saw the organisation ClientEarth come to agreement with the Welsh Government that more would be done to tackle emissions of NO2 on Cardiff’s Castle Street, due to predictions that the levels of these would surpass EU limits by 2021. The city’s council was told to begin work immediately on tackling the problem and set about investigating potential solutions.

Among the suggestions for the quickest and most effective solution, the council suggested changes to taxi licencing, the introduction of an electric bus fleet and a retrofitting of the city’s buses to standards set out by the EU. It was argued by the council that these solutions would deal with the Castle Street problem without any need for a CAZ. The council have lobbied the Welsh government to provide them with the requisite funds for the implementation of these ideas.

The Chair of Healthy Air Cymru, however, has publicly criticised the council’s decision not to introduce a CAZ in Cardiff. He argues that they represent “one of the most effective means of reducing transport emissions”, and has not held back in arguing for their use – not just in Wales but across the whole of the UK. He believes that those living in the capital are being poisoned by the quality of the city’s air, and that protection measures such as a CAZ are vital to tackling the problem.

If you’re a delivery driver, the likelihood is that you’ll be against the introduction of a CAZ due to the impact it could have on your day-to-day operations – both financially and operationally. A solution to the issue of emissions must be found, although it’s also important that it doesn’t have too significant an impact on the logistics industry.

Congestion, Couriers and the CAZ

Tackling emissions and congestion in the UK’s big cities is a major concern for those involved in local and national government and environmental campaigns. There is huge debate, however, about the introduction of clean air zones in these cities, with many believing that they will have a negative impact on business and infrastructure. In particular, this could interfere with those who work as a delivery driver, so it’s important to have an opinion and remain informed.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day delivery driver work in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.

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