Diesel Lorry Ban Divides Opinion

Thu 15th Jul 2021

The UK Government’s plans to decarbonise transport across the nation has already seen them promise to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel engines by the end of the decade, but their latest idea has not got down quite as well.

The so-called ‘greenprint’ to aim for zero emissions vehicles across the board by 2050 will have some serious casualties and it appears one of the first will be the country’s fleet of HGV drivers. Under the proposed plans which are to be published this week, the government will ban all new diesel and petrol lorries by 2040.

And while the government is seeking ways that they might even bring that deadline forward, hauliers are less enamoured by the proposals. Speaking to The Guardian, Rod McKenzie of the Road Haulage Association said: “These alternative HGVs don’t yet exist, we don’t know when they will and it’s not clear what any transition will look like. So this is a blue skies aspiration ahead of real life reality. For many haulage companies there are fears around cost of new vehicles and a collapse in resale value of existing lorries.”

But cabinet ministers are determined to push through the proposals and transport secretary Grant Shapps believes that the decarbonisation plans will ‘ultimately create sustainable economic growth through healthier communities as we build back greener.’

The plans have also been backed by environmental campaign groups, with Greg Archer, director of NGO Transport & Environment saying: “The decision to only use zero-emission road vehicles, including trucks, by 2050 is world leading and will significantly reduce Britain’s climate impact and improve the air we breathe. This complements the goal of net zero internal UK flights by 2040, although there is much more to do to tackle international aviation emissions.”