Transport for London has doubled the scrappage allowance introduced to assist small companies in updating their vehicles to meet the new low emission zone standards due in October. At present the grants only cover vans, but it is hoped to extend them to heavier vehicles.
Only 10 per cent of a £23 million ‘green fund’ was claimed in its first year of operation. Now the scrappage allowance has been doubled, and is worth £7,000 to small business that scrap older vans and replace them with a Euro 6 vehicle. If an electric vehicle is chosen, the scrappage allowance rises to £9,500. The grants are available to businesses with up to 50 employees.
The Freight Transport Association said it strongly welcomed the TfL decision.
Natalie Chapman, head of south of England and urban policy at FTA, said: “As the only business group representing all of the logistics sector, FTA is delighted TfL has decided to increase its financial support for local companies preparing for the tightening of the London-wide LEZ standards and upcoming expansion of the ultra low emission zone (ULEZ).
“While businesses within the logistics sector are determined to play their part in improving London’s air quality, they must have the right financial support in place; many simply do not have the resources to replace their existing fleets to meet the new, required emission standards. By doubling payments for van scrappage and expanding the criteria for support, TfL has shown it is committed to easing the financial burden its clean air ambition places on the industry.
“FTA will work closely with TfL to ensure the scheme supports the businesses expected to be hardest hit by the ULEZ and LEZ: small businesses, operators of specialist vehicles, and those based within the zones.
“And while we are especially pleased to see TfL is developing a funding programme for HGVs – and look forward to seeing the details of this emerge in the coming months – we are calling for the body to recognise that currently there are very few retrofit options available for HGVs. As such, whole vehicle replacement is the only viable option for the vast majority of the HGV fleet.