Close Brother Asset Finance surveyed 1000 SMEs in the UK and found that 75% were in favour of clean air zones.
With more than 40 towns and cities in the UK at or exceeding air pollution limits set by the World Health Organisation, CAZs and Low Emission Zones will soon be introduced in at least 22 cities in the UK.
The latest quarterly Close Brothers Asset Finance Business Barometer shows that firms across all sectors – regardless of size and location – are responsive to the idea of CAZs.
Firms in the North East and London were particularly positive about the idea of CAZs, with 85% of companies answering ‘yes’ to the question ‘are you in favour of clean air zones?’.
Bottom of the regional list was the North West and South East, both at 67%. The Transport & Haulage sector mirrored the UK results, at 75%; Construction was less responsive, with 68% in favour.
Six in every 10 business owners would be prepared to pay to enter a clean air zone if the vehicle fails to meet the required environmental standards. Regionally, London-based businesses – at 72% saying ‘yes’ – were the most likely to pay, while Welsh firms at 49% were least likely.
At only 46% positive, businesses turning over less than £250k were least prepared to shell out to enter a CAZ. Sector-wise, Transport & Haulage, at 61%, matched the national average.
“A Clean Air Zone is an area in which a local authority has brought measures into place to improve the air quality,” said Neil Davies, chief executive officer, Close Brothers Asset Finance. “Initially, it was thought that the Clean Air Zones would apply only to buses, taxis and HGVs. However, this was widened to include non-compliant private vehicles.”