Vehicle Emissions | November 2018

I have received numerous letters regarding vehicle emissions.
The Government is committed to be the UK’s greenest ever and has established a 25-year plan to improve the environment to help achieve this goal. It is imperative that a balance is struck between keeping the cost of living as low as possible for individuals, while meeting the national obligations towards environmental protection. Motorists should not be overburdened with the responsibility of improving air quality and tackling climate change.
Despite significant improvements in air quality over recent decades, air pollution is still having a detrimental impact on people’s health. Air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, and is linked to 40,000 early deaths. In addition, the UK has challenging legal obligations in relation to NO2 limits and we are required to achieve compliance in the shortest time possible.
There are a number of ways in which we can tackle vehicle emissions. Ministers have directed sixty-one local authorities to develop local plans likely to achieve compliance. This allows local authorities to tailor plans which will enable them to comply in the shortest possible time. There is a fund of £220 million available to local authorities to minimise the effect that these plans may have on individuals and businesses.
The vehicle industry is making promising developments to help tackle the issue of vehicle emissions. A car produced in 2017 has an average of 33.1 per cent lower emissions than one produced in 2000, and 20 percent lower emissions than the average car in use. Ministers are optimistic that all new cars and vans will effectively zero be emission by 2040.
In the 2017 Autumn budget, the Chancellor announced that fuel duty in 2018 was to remain frozen for an eighth successive year, saving the typical driver £160 a year on average. The Government is also investing over £2.7billion in air quality and cleaner transport. This includes investment in ultra-low emission vehicles, a National Productivity Investment Fund as well as a Clean Bus Technology Fund and Clean Vehicle Technology Fund. Moreover, a consultation currently underway on Vehicle Excise Duty for new vans to incentivise van drivers purchasing a new van to make the environmentally cleanest choice.
November 2018

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