Timescale for ban on polluting lorries announced

New diesel and petrol lorries will be banned in Britain by 2040, under the Government’s recently published ‘greenprint’. The plan aims to decarbonise all types of transport by 2050.

Although the plan is still open to consultation, it proposes a 2035 phase out date for vehicles weighing from 3.5 to 26 tonnes and 2040 for vehicles weighing more than 26 tonnes — or earlier if a faster transition is feasible. The launch of the plan comes ahead of major climate summit COP26.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) criticised the plan as “speculative, potentially damaging to business, and short on detail.”

RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett said: “This proposal as it stands is unrealistic. These alternative HGVs don’t yet exist – we don’t know when they will and what they will cost.

“It’s also not clear what any transition will look like – this is blue skies aspiration. For many haulage companies there are fears around cost of new vehicles and a collapse in resale value of existing lorries. The problem is even worse for coaches, which are more expensive to buy and have longer lifecycles.

“We support investment in vehicles to deliver Net Zero, but it requires coherent, affordable, and inclusive market-driven policies.

“The needs of SME businesses must be at the heart of Government ambitions. SMEs ensure the goods and services consumers demand are delivered affordably and on time. These are ordinary people without deep pockets who want to do the right thing.”

The Government says the plan for transport will lead to cleaner air, healthier communities, and thousands of new ‘green’ jobs.

It includes a commitment to electrify the entire fleet of government cars and vans by 2027 and net zero aviation emissions by 2050.

Aviation target

A ‘Jet zero’ consultation has been launched, which commits the sector to a net zero emissions target by 2050 and sets out an action plan for how it can be achieved.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s not about stopping people doing things: it’s about doing the same things differently. We will still fly on holiday, but in more efficient aircraft, using sustainable fuel. We will still drive, but increasingly in zero emission cars.”