HC Deb 20 December 1989 vol 164 cc276-7W
Mrs. Ann Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what regulations exist to prevent the emission of smoke from diesel vehicles in use on the highway; who is responsible for their enforcement; and if he will provide statistics showing the extent of enforcement of these powers;

(2) whether he has any plans to introduce new powers to control the emissions of smoke from heavy diesel vehicles in use on the highway.

Mr. Atkins

Regulation 61 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 prohibits the emission of smoke likely to cause damage to property or injury or danger to persons.

The annual tests for buses and heavy goods vehicles conducted by the Department's vehicle inspectorate include a visual check on smoke density. Over the past two years the inspectorate has increased substantially its programme of roadside checks on the condition of goods vehicles and fleet checks at operators' premises. These include a check on smoke emissions. Vehicles can be banned or owners required to rectify defects within a specified period. The total number of roadside and fleet checks in 1988–89 was almost 155,000.

In addition, the police are responsible for day-to-day enforcement of requirements set by the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations which include controls on vehicle emissions. As well as prosecuting offenders, they can require defects to be rectified within a specified period.

There are no plans to alter these powers.