Industry bodies have called for more time and further financial incentives to support fleets as they adapt to new air quality proposals set forth by the Government. The plans outline a ban on 'conventionalî petrol and diesel car and van sales by 2040, urging councils to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). The proposals also suggest that local authorities should alter road layouts to relieve air pollution bottlenecks. Ultimately, where these and other measures are insufficient, the additional power is provided for councils to charge drivers money for entering heavily polluted zones or to apply restrictions on certain vehicles during particular hours. Councils are expected to lay out their initial proposals by the deadline of March 2018, with their final plans provided by the end of December 2018. While many fleets will be exempted from Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZs) by operating vehicles of the cleanest Euro 6 standards, van fleets in particular _ with longer replacement cycles _ may be caught on the wrong side of the rules. Aside from the planned ULEZ in London, there are at least five other cities which are expected to introduce Clean Air Zones (CAZs) by 2019, including Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton. It is yet to be seen which additional locations, if any, will decide to implement CAZs. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called for urgent clarification. Elizabeth de Jong, Director of UK Policy, said: 'We won't know where vans will be restricted until next year, giving only a year for businesses to plan their fleets, leaving many with potentially large bills on top of rising operating costs in a difficult trading environment.î The FTA predicts a scenario where fleets will possess no more than two and a half years' of compliant vehicles, while no second-hand market will exist to rely upon. As a result many businesses will find themselves tied to lease agreements which, despite extending past the 2019 deadline, will be expensive to break. 'For those whose businesses operate inside a zone, a period of grace, giving them extra time to comply, would provide much-needed breathing space,î added de Jong. 'Our worst fear is that some may be forced out of business altogether if the plans are not properly thought through.î The Government says further details on the proposed tax regime will be announced in the Budget later in the year. It has also declared a £255million package _ funded by tax changes for new diesel vehicles or via retooling of departmental budgets _ has been set aside to help councils implement their local measures. The Government also suggests that it wants to minimise the potential impact of new air quality measures on local businesses and commuters where charging zones may be implemented. A further consultation on the issue will take place in the autumn, considering further options to support fleets such as retrofitting, exemptions, discounts or permit schemes. Nick Lyes, policy spokesman for the RAC, called upon the Government to ensure that charging zones are used as a 'last resortî only after exhausting all other emission-reducing measures. 'The Government has not yet made it clear what process needs to be followed before a charging regime comes in to force,î Lyes added. While the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has welcomed the Government's pledge to consult on the possible business impact of any new measures, it has also called for consistency in the Government's approach. Gerry Keaney, BVRLA chief executive, said: 'We must ensure that zones are consistent across the UK _ not only having the same emissions standard requirement, but also in terms of their signage, enforcement and penalties for non-compliance. While Government analysis of past scrapping schemes has reportedly shown 'poor value for the tax payerî, Keaney believes that well-targeted schemes could make a noteworthy contribution to the reduction of NOx emissions.