Smart Transport

Clean air zones promoting positive modal shift away from cars

Roadside sign telling motorists they are entering Bath's clean air zone

Clean air zones (CAZ) are driving a positive modal shift to alternatives to the car, according to research commissioned by Europcar Mobility Group UK.

Almost two-thirds of employers (64%) plan to extend their use of public transport or shared mobility to counter the growing number of CAZs.

The findings surveyed 300 fleet managers across the country and has been published in Europcar's latest whitepaper ‘Clearing the Air: Are Fleet Managers Ready for the Clean Air Revolution?' 

With 87% of fleet managers questioned saying that their business will be impacted by the growing number of clean air zones, the whitepaper shows fleet managers face new challenges building a flexible fleet that not only meets the demands of the business itself, but also meets the rules of CAZs and London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

The research found that one in five businesses were not aware of the rules for different zones, while just under 30% of businesses had not calculated the potential cost for their fleet to enter a CAZ.

Ron Santiago, managing director of Europcar Mobility Group UK, said: “CAZs are a welcome move in the fight for improved air quality in our towns and cities, but the whitepaper findings highlight how important it is that fleet and business travel managers understand the rules and regulations if they are not to fall foul of potentially heavy fines and daily admission charges for non-compliant vehicles.

“A lack of awareness could impact the bottom line for many companies and a lack of planning will reduce their ability to remain flexible to changes in business demand.”

For one in five businesses the main concern around switching to a lower emissions fleet is cost.

Santiago said: “We believe that long-term rental, along with shared mobility solutions and a greater use of public transport will be a valuable part of sustainable transport strategies going forward.

“For fleet managers, having the ability to manage costs and ‘flex’ their fleet in response to fluctuations in demand is key to helping their companies thrive.”

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