The Road Haulage Association is giving a cautious welcome to news that the latest Government crackdown on pollution targets wood burning stoves and domestic heating as well as ammonia from farms and car tyre dust – and not just targeting trucks. Domestic fuel accounts for 38% of particulate pollution. The Government has been obliged to publish it’s Clean Air Strategy under EU Rules and following pressure from green groups such as ClientEarth.

The road haulage industry was worried about excessive additional regulation of non-Euro VI lorries – especially those operating in a number of towns and cities that are planning their own environmental crackdown. The Government’s announcement gives local councils more powers and this is still a big worry for hauliers who will face charges and potentially fines, for bringing older lorries into those areas.

The RHA remains sceptical about the plans already being discussed for the sector, however.

The RHA’s chief executive Richard Burnett has been calling on ministers to “work with us – not penalise the lorry industry”. He said: “By 2025 NOx emissions from lorries will be one-fifth of what they were in 2013 – a dramatic fall for which our industry doesn’t receive adequate credit. Cars and vans, as well as domestic heating are much bigger polluters.

“This sector has slashed its NOx emissions and there should be no bans or restrictions on lorries less than 12 years old. A phased approach is essential, and it would avoid the shift to vans which would mean more congestion and more pollution. More regulations on a sector with its house already in order wouldn’t make the air any cleaner.”