CLEAN AIR Zones (CAZs) are not a one-size-fits-all solution to improving air quality, as illustrated by Nottingham City Council and DEFRA, which agreed the city does not require a charging low emission zone to meet its air quality targets.

This landmark move has been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) which hopes that other cities across the country take the same common sense attitude to clean air policies.

Nottingham is the first local authority to have its air quality plan approved as part of the government’s mission to improve air quality nationwide. Meanwhile Derby City Council is currently presenting its case against a CAZ, believing other solutions will deliver a better outcome in a quicker time frame without damaging its local economy.

And the Road Haulage Association is challenging local authorities nationwide to reduce harmful emissions without resorting to charging trucks to enter clean air zones.

The call comes as Southampton scrapped its plans to introduce a CAZ that would have seen non Euro 6 lorries facing £100 per day charges.

Southampton City Council announced the u-turn after receiving more than 9,000 responses to their public consultation. New studies revealed that nitrogen dioxide levels in Southampton would be within legal limits in 2020 and a charging CAZ scheme wouldn’t deliver compliance any sooner.

• But hauliers operating in Leeds still face an uncertain future after the City Council presses ahead with plans to charge pre-Euro 6 lorries £50 per day to enter a CAZ. The government rejected the local authority’s bid for funding in November sparking fears that operators could be charged even more.

The RHA criticised the Leeds plans saying that they over estimated the numbers of Euro 6 lorries that would operate in the CAZ, and were promoting retrofit to reduce emissions from older lorries even though there’s no product on the market.