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Clean air or profits?

22nd August 1996
Page 6
Page 6, 22nd August 1996 — Clean air or profits?
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

• The proposed emission testing for trucks by city councils (CM 1 1-1 7 July) could make hauliers the victims of "moneyspinning" local authorities, say critics.

Both the Automobile Association and the Freight Transport Association claim the scheme is half-baked.

The Department of Transport has provisionally chosen five councils • Westminster, Bristol, Edinburgh, Canterbury and Teeside to trial the scheme, which is due to start in the autumn.

An AA spokesman says: "The scheme should be nationwide and related to air quality standards in the area, not the whim of local authorities. Combating pollution is of crucial importance and should be part of a larger national strategy. It shouldn't be left to a local authority with a tin-pot sensor."

The AA wants a scaled penalty system which punishes trucks and cars polluting innercity areas more than those in rural areas. But the DOT says a fixed-rate penalty of £40 should apply everywhere.

"The regulations will be national, therefore pollution will be penalised the same whether it occurs in rural Dorset or inner-city London," says a spokesman.

An FTA spokesman says: "There are still too many questionmarks over the testing of emissions. Local authorities will need to work hard to satisfy industry that they produced guaranteed readings."

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