“Focus on the big stuff to improve air quality” urges former Minister
27th Feb 2017
Former Government Minister, now CEO of not-for-profit trade association, the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) which includes the Natural Gas Vehicle Network, Mike Foster, has today urged the Government to focus its attention on large vehicles in the drive to improve air quality.
Mr Foster cites the recent Respublica report: “Air Necessities: Place-based approaches to a pollution crisis” as further evidence of the polluting impact of road vehicles, especially HGVs and buses.
Mr Foster said:
“The Respublica report paints a clean picture of the costs incurred by poor air quality, contributing to the unacceptable 40,000 air pollution – related early deaths. Something needs to be done now.”
“Despite noises from the government about people choosing their next car with air pollution in mind, they would be better-off focussing on the big stuff, namely HGVs and buses.”
“The report makes it crystal clear that together just 6 per cent of vehicle miles driven by HGVs and buses are responsible for 48 per cent of nitrogen oxides. Whereas with smaller vehicles, 94 per cent of vehicle miles account for only 52 per cent of roadside pollution. And when you factor in that HGVs and buses account for less than 2 per cent of actual vehicles in the UK, the polluting impact of large vehicles is disproportionately high and that should concentrate government thinking.”
“In addition, the government also have recent independent evidence that they commissioned, which shows switching from diesel to gas for these large vehicles brings about huge air quality improvements.”
“The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, suggests that compared to a diesel Euro 6 engine, a gas equivalent reduces NOx by 41 per cent and NO2 emissions by 74 per cent. If the government are serious about improving air quality, the single biggest thing they could do is to encourage the switch from diesel to gas HGVs and buses. People are literally dying for this to happen.”
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