HC Deb 10 January 2002 vol 377 cc985-6W
Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) how many(a) LPG and (b) natural gas refuelling depots there are in (i) the UK and (ii) Wales; and if he will provide a list of where these points in Wales are; [25632]

(2) what measures he is taking to ensure that the availability of grants to convert vehicles to run on liquidified petroleum gas which are available from PowerShift is widely publicised; [25624]

(3) how many applications there have been for PowerShift grants for converting vehicles to run on LPG; and how many grants have been approved. [25623]

Mr. Jamieson

The Energy Saving Trust run the PowerShift programme, covering Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as England, on behalf of the Government. There is a comprehensive marketing strategy to raise awareness of LPG and other alternative fuels, and publicise the conversion grants available. There is an interactive website, and regular articles in national and regional newspapers and magazines.

Since the PowerShift programme began in 1996, the trust has received a UK total of 3,809 applications, of which 2,642 were approved as eligible, covering the conversion of 12,404 vehicles to run on LPG. Of these, the figures for Wales are 157 applications received, and 124 applications approved as eligible, covering 559 vehicles.

Powershift grants have been limited to conversion of vehicles up to one-year-old, but have recently been extended to be available for vehicles up to five-years-old for which quality LPG conversions are available.

The number of LPG refuelling points have been growing rapidly and now stands at around 1,000, of which 91 are in Wales. Natural gas is used in heavy vehicles. There are around 30 refuelling points in the UK, mainly at vehicle operators' depots. None is in Wales. Information on LPG refuelling points is available on the PowerShift website at: www.transportaction.org.uk, and I have placed a copy of the present list in the Library. There is no published list of CNG refuelling depots.

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