Last week MPs debated the Joint Select Committee report on Air Quality, emphasising the pressing need for a cross-departmental approach to tackle this growing “public health problem”.
According to the BVRLA’s latest leasing figures, members’ car fleets are 9% cleaner than the national average. Two MPs picked up this point and referred to the association’s proposals which encourage the use of rental and leased vehicles as a way of promoting greener motoring.
Iain Stewart MP, a member of the Transport Select Committee, praised the Government’s plans to decarbonise road transport but warned of the so-called ‘Oslo effect’, where weightier vehicles transmit more pollutants. This effect may be magnified for electric vehicles as they tend to be heavier than conventional petrol and diesel cars.
Stewart also cited the BVRLA’s proposal for mobility credits to be offered to drivers giving up older diesel vehicles. Instead of supporting drivers to purchase a new vehicle in return for scrapping an old model, this scheme would allocate credits which could then be used for car rental, car clubs, or public transport to encourage behaviour change.
Transport Committee Chair, Lilian Greenwood MP, and Environmental Audit Committee Chair Mary Creagh MP both criticised the Government’s reported “watering down” of its soon-to-launch Road to Zero strategy, calling for greater financial incentives to encourage and support migration towards cleaner motoring.
In response, Environment Minister David Rutley re-emphasised the Government’s plan for “every new car and van to be effectively zero emission by 2040” and “the end of new conventional petrol and diesel car and van sales by this date”.
The debate in full is available on the Parliament.uk website.