HC Deb 09 July 1990 vol 176 c90W
46. Mr. Moss

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress is being made to reduce vehicle emissions.

Mr. Atkins

I have recently laid before the House regulations which will introduce the strict limits on vehicle emissions which have been agreed by the European Community.

The regulations include for the first time a requirement for the motorist to keep his vehicle in good emissions tune. This has paved the way for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's recent announcement that we propose to include a check on emissions in the MOT test.

Negotiations are now taking place on a further directive to limit emissions from cars. In addition to setting stricter limits for medium cars, the new directive will include provisions on evaporative emissions, durability of emission control equipment and a longer test cycle which includes a new high speed element. I hope the negotiations can be concluded quickly. The timetable is short if the new requirements are to take effect by the end of 1992.

When these new requirements are agreed, it will mean that from 1992 virtually all new petrol-engined cars will have to be equipped with three-way catalysts.

The Commission has also announced recently proposals for tighter limits on gaseous emissions from heavy diesel-engined vehicles and for the introduction of limits on particulate emissions from these vehicles. From what we have seen, the proposals may not go far enough. We are looking for standards similar to the United States 1994 limits by the mid-1990s. These are the strictest standards for heavy diesels being considered anywhere in the world.

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