A HAULAGE firm is investing more £1.4million in going green.
Ferguson Transport, which has a depot in Washington, is spending the cash on bringing its 100-strong fleet in line with Government plans to upgrade emission criteria for heavy vehicles entering the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ).
The company has upgraded more than a quarter of its fleet to comply with increasingly-stringent European emission standards, which will stipulate that heavy vehicles entering the LEZ without Euro IV engines will incur a daily charge of £200 from January.
Operations director John Arkle said: “Our haulage fleet has already clocked nine million kilometres this financial year to date, travelling up and down the country, entering the LEZ on a daily basis. As such, it is imperative that we upgrade our fleet.
“We have actually used this as an opportunity to introduce trucks with Euro V engines into our fleet, which, as well as emitting significantly-less pollutants, will ensure that we are well and truly prepared for future reviews of European emission standards.”
The Euro IV engine charge comes as a result of the latest European emission standard, which defines acceptable limits for exhaust fumes, or engine particulate matter.
Haulage companies across the country without the capital to upgrade their fleet are expected to install engine filters in their current vehicles in order to meet the Euro IV standard for engine particulate matter. Non-compliant trucks will be charged £200 per day (or part thereof) to enter the LEZ, a charge which many fear will be passed down to customers.
Alan Ferguson, a director of Fergusons Transport and chairman of the North East Chamber of Commerce said: “The haulage industry will always have obstacles thrown in its path, whether they are hikes in fuel prices or increasing engine emissions standards,” he said.
“Therefore, it is vital Fergusons Transport, as the region’s leading haulage company, continually invest in our fleet to stay ahead of the game.”