Are we guilty of motorhome pollution and therefore polluting the cities and countryside? CAZ ( clean air zones), are going to be eventually rolled out across major conurbations in the UK. This is all part of the cleaner air campaign, following on from the LEZ (low emission zone) campaigns. All must be recognised as a way forward to stop pollution. Hopefully, eventually in its tracks. However, motorhome owners need to be aware, that it may cost more than you think to enter these zones. Most of these ideas have been in operation since 2008. However, mostly covering Greater London, no doubt, soon to be in other large cities. Also, whilst not taking in the M25 and other connecting motorways. So, logically where the highest pollution takes place! In fact, if we were really serious about pollution, then all major roads should be taxed!
An initiative in Scotland, sees Glasgow being the next UK city to operate a LEZ (low emission zone) scheme. So, effectively, that means that certain diesel vehicles will have to pay a charge, for driving through the city area. Scotland’s Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, said: “Our position is that local authorities should be ambitious, and that all vehicles, including private cars, should be included in a LEZ in a phased manner.” So, we assume, that means no motorhomes exemption! Scotland is in some ways reliant on the tourist trade, are they are in a difficult position? We, recognise they really need to attract more visitors. Especially, we believe UK and European motorhome owners! So, why would you visit Glasgow and be taxed for the privilege? Thus, a comment like “local authorities should be ambitious” sounds like call to let the dogs out and get charging!
Whilst, clarification on how all these different charges will operate, as seen in France, this may be confusing. Thus, industry bodies are investigating. The NCC (National Caravan Council) and the Caravan and Motorhome Club and Camping and Caravanning Club. We believe they are lobbying behind the scenes, to make motorhomes exempt. However, we believe that we all must get real with this problem. Lobbying government is not the answer, helping motorhome manufacturers, become more greener faster sounds better.
Latest Engines Wrong Fuel!
Also, we do not subscribe to make the case for leisure vehicles to be exempt, from entering emission zones. In fact, the latest Euro VI diesel engines are already exempt, from such charges in London. It seems one rule for one and not another. If there had be an option to have a Euro VI then that may be different. But, the fact remains as new motorhomes come on stream, logic says to fit the most environmentally friendly engines! If, you like many, could not afford a brand new motorhome, then pay up and look happy. Again, the option to petrol or LPG engines in motorhomes remains virtually not available.
What is the Motorhome Pollution Answer?
Well first of all there could be many answers to the types of motorhome pollution, just raising the bar a little could well help. Living the dream is all about freedom, to go where you want when you want! However, we may be better adopting a go where it is environmentally friendly to do so campaign. In effect, we want greener improvements for all leisure related businesses, certainly not to be highlighted just by any form of exemption. Providing a secure, environmentally friendly stayovers, close to cities and large towns makes more sense.
Park and Ride.
There is no doubt, that park and ride is a great way to provide alternatives for everyone. Ideal for motorhome owners, making a visit to a city venue. First parking in a secure environment, provides time and combats any theft issues, time to visit all the key places. Therefore, not stop and start or trying to park up anywhere and dodging those traffic wardens. Clearly, those taxes on pollution that relates to motorhomes, should go towards the cost and maintenance of such stayover venues.
Becoming Greener Faster.
However, how are we going to become greener faster? This is not going to be easy at all. However, all motorhome owners have to share that responsibility. Whilst we all love our motorhome leisure time, we must not forget motorhome pollution in the wider sense! Emptying waste water in the correct way, right down to still recycling our bottles and plastic containers. Because, it extends beyond just the engine and fuel type motorhome pollution, there is a hidden time bomb under the bonnet of our motorhomes. Yes, those diesel engines, could continue to be unhelpful!
The Diesel Must Go!
Something, that we mentioned in our Napoleon or Nelson article recently. In fact, is the risk to residual value risk of diesels, is there a real threat to come? So, here is another reason why that may happen, takation on diesels, could get worse. Apparently, individual towns and cities are each taking a different approach, to the different vehicles. But, if it be a diesel, then we know it is a proven polluter, just ask Volkswagen that question! Governments and local councils might allude to busses and lorries being the culprits. However, large motorhomes, with large diesel engines, must be above white diesel van man!
Is Taxation the Real Answer?
In fact, taxation has been around for many years, as a way of penalising the motorist. Think, road tax, vat on fuel at 20%, right down to bridge crossings and road tolls! Also, we believe, better park and ride places, so motorhome owners have the option to park and stayover, makes sense. Therefore, this then contributes to the attraction of tourists to come and visit Britain. We have seen car parks closing doors to motorhomes so, now we need to stand independent. What is wrong with having a vibrant greener motorhome and leisure industry attracting tourists? Providing places to hop on a tram or bus into the city and enjoy what is on offer.
However, whatever the debate the fact is that London is also planning a ULEZ (ultra-Low Emission Zone), that will come in on April 8, 2019. In fact, this is going to cover the city. So, all diesel-engine vehicles that are not Euro VI rated, including motorhomes will be affected. In fact, there will also be charges for petrol-engine vehicles, rated less than Euro IV. English cities have plans for CAZ’s and LEZ’s, with Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton. Others carrying out LEZ feasibility studies, are Aylesbury Vale, Bath, Somerset, Bradford, Horsham, Lewes, Maidstone, Newcastle upon Tyne, Reading, Sheffield, Wakefield, Waverley and York.
Finding Out More.
At present, the best place to get updates on CAZ’s and LEZ’s is on the website urbanaccessregulations.eu . This shows everything in Europe However, this is EU-funded. Therefore, this as far as Brexit is concerned may not be in operation for us in the UK.
Now to France.
Yes, before you venture to France make sure that you have the right Crit’Air anti-pollution stickers. These will be in operation for Paris, Lyon, Grenoble and no doubt soon all over large cities. Therefore, eventually being rolled out to other popular French destinations.