HC Deb 09 February 1977 vol 925 cc715-6W
Mr. Ronald Atkins

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to strengthen the regulations con cerning the emission of exhaust from vehicles; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. William Rodgers

Controls over gaseous emissions from petrol-engined vehicles are based on standards developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Agreement has recently been reached on standards for nitrogen oxide; these supplement existing limits on emissions of carbon monoxide and unburnt hydrocarbons and they will be incorporated as soon as practicable in the Construction and Use Regulations. The United Kingdom has also signified its agreement to proposals now being discussed for more stringent limits for all three types of pollutant.

There are no proposals at present to alter the limits on emissions of diesel-smoke, which are based on a British Standard; but my Department is working with manufacturers and operators to strengthen their effectiveness, primarily through improving maintenance and inspection procedures.

The Motor Fuel (Lead Content of Petrol) Regulations, which came into effect on 30th November 1976, have already reduced the maximum permitted amount of lead in petrol; they also provide for a further reduction on 1st January 1978.