£2.3 investment in coach upgrades set to aid compliance with emission targets.
A significant investment in low emission vehicles is set to pay off for a pioneering West Midlands travel firm, with costly new rules due to come into force for travel around London.
Solihull-based Landflight is upgrading its entire fleet of 13 coaches, midi-coaches and buses to comply with the latest Euro 6 emission standards, a total investment of around £2.3 million.
It’s a timely decision in light of the new Ultra Low Emission Zone charge which is set to come into force in the capital from 8th April, and will see all larger vehicles hit by a £100 charge to drive across large parts of inner London.
Trips into London are a key part of LandFlight’s flourishing business, as they are into Birmingham, which is launching its own Clean Air Zone in January 2020 and will charge £50 a day for HGVs, buses and coaches to access it.
Landflight director Danny Matthews (pictured) said fleet operators across the country have a big job on their hands to refresh their fleet in time for the changes, while firms without new vehicles would most likely pass on any extra cost to their customers.
He said: “Our approach has always been that modern, less polluting vehicles are undoubtedly better for everyone’s health. That’s why we have always looked to reduce our emissions to help combat air pollution and this latest investment in ultra-low emission travel is further proof of our commitment to the community and the environment.
“Our responsible, forward-thinking approach is now set to pay dividends for the company, too.
“Happily, we are ahead of the game with the new low emission rules and will be exempt from the new charges, meaning our clients and customers can expect the same first class, executive service at no extra cost.
“Other companies with older, more polluting vehicles will have a dilemma, though. They will either have to pay the extra charges every time they go into London or Birmingham, or splash out to modernise their fleets. Whichever route they choose, they’re in for a hefty bill and the very real prospect is that the cost of it all will be borne by their customers.”
LandFlight, which counts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Lufthansa, Emirates and Qatar Airways among its clients, is committed to investing in innovation and growing the business. It is also creating jobs, recently recruiting 24 new drivers to help service a range of new routes it is now operating on behalf of Transport for West Midlands.