Industry Insights - January 2024

23 / 01 / 2024  |  Blogs

Welcome to our first Industry Insights
of 2024

Put together by our team of experts, this is your monthly summary of all the sector updates you need to know to run and manage your fleet.

If you have any topics you’d like us to cover in future editions, please get in touch using the details further down this page.

Thank you for reading,

The Zenith Consultancy Team

Manchester Clean Air Zone (CAZ) scrapped

Plans to introduce a Manchester Clean Air Zone (CAZ) have been shelved after modelling showed that it would not bring air quality within legal limits for nitrogen dioxide by 2026, and thus fail to meet the government’s compliance date.

Instead, investment in zero-emission transport and traffic management will be used to achieve compliance with air quality legal limits.

Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan

A new investment-led plan has been modelled and shows that compliance can be achieved by 2025, by implementing the following:

  • £51.2m invested in zero-emission buses and upgrades to EV charging infrastructure at bus depots.
  • A £22.5m Clean Taxi Fund providing grants (£3,770-£12,560) to help taxis meet a new minimum emission standard.
  • £8m Electric Hackney Upgrade Fund providing grants (£7,530-£12,560) to help hackney carriage owners who meet the minimum emission standard upgrade to a Zero Emission capable vehicle.
  • £5m investment in measure to manage traffic flow through Manchester and Salford.
City of Manchester

Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC)

The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) is a professional qualification that drivers of buses, coaches and lorries are required to hold in addition to their driving licence.

Recent years have seen a HGV driver shortage and it was suggested that changing the qualification requirements could be an incentive to recruitment and encourage former drivers to return to the profession. The government published in December the outcome of a consultation announcing the following reforms:

  • Minimum training requirement will reduce from seven hours to three and a half hours.
  • New specific pathway for returning drivers to re-join the sector.
  • Introduction of a new periodic test to replace current 35 hours of training every five years as requirement to maintain the CPC (the details of which are yet to be ironed out and will be subject to a further consultation).
HGVs aerial view

Charging infrastructure update

Recent data from Zapmap shows that the UK has now passed the milestone of having 50,000 public electric chargepoints across the UK network and there are over 10,000 rapid and ultra-rapid charging devices across 5,000 charging locations.


increase in slow chargers


increase in fast chargers


increase in rapid chargers


increase in ultra-rapid chargers

However, a government target for the deployment of charge points at motorway services has been missed. Every motorway service station in England was targeted to have at least six rapid or ultra-rapid chargers by the end of 2023, as set out in its Taking Charge strategy published in March 2022. RAC estimates that only two out of five (40%) of motorway services currently meet this target.

The high-power cabling to the grid is the barrier for many operators. To mitigate this, the government announced changes to planning rules and reforms to the grid connection process in the 2023 Autumn Statement. Also, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced a £70m fund to help motorway service areas upgrade network capacity to cater for ultra-rapid EV charge points in December.

While the infrastructure might not be in the position the government had envisioned for itself two years ago, progress is being made with the number of public charge points consistently increasing, and mitigation for the challenges that are being experienced are being introduced.

Want to find out more?

If you have any thoughts on any of the open consultations that you want us to consider as part of an industry response, please speak to our fleet consultancy team or your customer relationship manager by simply completing the form and we’ll contact you.

Alternatively, get in touch using the details below:


[email protected]

0344 848 9311

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