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Air pollution in London is unfortunately still on the rise, but what does this mean for couriers?

In January levels were higher than those in Beijing, a city known for its smog and pollution. It is clear that something needs to be done to lower these levels. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has proposed introducing new buses and building electric charging infrastructure, however his main policy is to expand and increase the prices of the congestion charge. This policy will see regular cars, vans and motorcycles which do not meet the required standard paying £12.50 more. Making a total of £24 per day. Whereas coaches, buses and heavy goods vehicles will have to pay £100 per day as well as their congestion charge. The charge increase isn’t the only change though. The charges will be enforced all week not just Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm. The charge can’t even be avoided by couriers working at night.


How will couriers be affected?

For courier companies which have already started to employ greener technologies and vehicles, not much. However for companies using diesel or older vehicles this could lead to much higher costs per day. Probably best to invest the money now (treat yourself to a greener van) then have to pay it everyday for no return!

Unfortunately this change is not completely fair. The main source of congestion pollution is diesel road traffic, taxis make up 5% of this pollution. However, they are exempt. Black cabs, i.e. highly inefficient black smog producers, will not have to pay whilst others are having to pay even more. It is understandable that these cabs are necessary in London, but aren’t couriers?

Change is obviously needed to stop the emissions in London from rising. The mayor has put a big emphasis on this in his manifesto and it’s great to see this coming to fruition. Nonetheless, it would probably be more effective if the charge was enforced on all contributors.