HC Deb 16 March 1993 vol 221 c147W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 16 February,Official Report, columns 150–51, if he will give consideration to compensating engineering companies and garages in respect of the development and purchase of equipment to undertake the off-road testing of diesel exhaust emissions to comply with the new regulations; and if he will estimate the costs involved.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

The suspension of the metered check of diesel smoke is only temporary and it is my intention to reinstate it at the earliest opportunity. Consequently I do not consider that there is any case for offering compensation to equipment manufacturers. Equally, since owners of diesel-engined vehicles still have to go to MOT testing stations which have been authorised to test diesels where excessive smoke continues to be checked by eye, garages with smoke meters are not losing any fee income during the period of suspension.

Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action has been taken since 1 April 1991 in response to complaints about smokey vehicles; how many operators have been required to have vehicles tested at a testing station; and how many prohibition notices and operator license variations have been issued as a result.

Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

Since April 1991 the vehicle inspectorate has asked some 3,000 vehicle operators to check vehicles for excessive smoke, following complaints. Most operators have responded positively to these requests and have taken steps, where appropriate, to remedy defects. A follow-up vehicle inspection has been necessary only in a relatively few cases. I am not aware of any complaint which has resulted in the issue of a prohibition notice or action against an operator's licence. A vehicle would be inspected at a testing station only if that were necessary to clear a prohibition.

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