HC Deb 08 June 1990 vol 173 cc720-1W
Mr. Dunn

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what further provisions he is making to reduce emissions from motor vehicles; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins

Amendments to the Construction and Use Regulations were laid before the House on 5 June.

The new amendments follow up European requirements on gaseous emissions that are already being applied in the Type Approval Regulations. They also apply the strict stage II emission limits for small cars set by Community directive 89/458 from 31 December 1992. This means that virtually all new petrol-engined cars from 1993 onwards will need to be fitted with catalysts.

Limits on particulate emissions from diesel cars are also introduced.

The regulations require the user of a vehicle to keep the engine in tune and any emission control equipment, such as a catalyst, in good working order. It is important for drivers to recognise this responsibility and it is in their own interest to do so. Keeping the engine in tune helps to reduce fuel consumption as well as keeping emissions down.

The new regulations also introduce the first gaseous emission limits for lorries and buses. Community directive 88/77 covers diesel-engined vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross weight. These limits for heavy duty diesels are just a first step. The Commission has just announced proposals for a substantial tightening of these limits and the introduction of a particulate standard. However, they do not go quite as far as I would like. The Government believe that for the mid-1990s the European Community should adopt limits for other gaseous and particulate emissions as close as possible for the United States 1994 standards, which are the strictest worldwide.