London mayor Boris Johnson has been criticised for failing to include greater take-up of LPG Autogas in his plans to reduce vehicle emissions in London.
In evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into air pollution he proposed a scheme to encourage drivers to scrap the most polluting diesel vehicles and to encourage take-up of low emission vehicles.
However, Linda Gomersall, general manager, Autogas, said: “It is baffling that Boris Johnson has not given due consideration to using LPG Autogas in his plans to significantly transform London’s emissions output.
“London, much like the rest of the UK, cannot ignore continuing problems and associated health risks with the emissions of NOx and other harmful particulates. While undoubtedly progress has been made in reducing air pollution across the Capital in recent years, LPG autogas has its own prominent role to play in taking this progress further.
“Currently 155,000 UK drivers are benefiting from LPG autogas which is half the cost of petrol and diesel and has significantly better environmental credentials. Therefore, as a readily available fuel source, LPG autogas presents a current, cost effective and cleaner alternative to traditional road fuels such as diesel and petrol, and is in pole position to complement other clean options, including the electric/hybrid public transport vehicles already incorporated in London. We believe there are practical solutions which can make a genuine difference and we would ask Government to consider:
• Giving air pollution the same level of priority as tackling climate change and reducing carbon emissions when formulating transport policy;
• Replacing individual fuel strategies with an integrated road fuels strategy that sets out a framework for all fuels and supports fuels such as LPG that can improve air quality now, while continuing to support emerging fuels;
• Introducing as a part of an integrated fuels strategy, limited grant schemes to remove the most polluting cars from the road, potentially through converting these cars to LPG;
• Provide wider support for local authorities to move their fleets to less polluting forms of fuel;
• Reviewing wider incentives for road fuels, working with local authorities and the Mayor of London to ensure that support is given to all fuels that can reduce air pollution;
• Ensuring that there is greater consultation with key departments such as the Department for Health (DoH), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Department for Transport (DfT) and HM Treasury (HMT) when determining road fuels policy.
“LPG autogas undoubtedly has a role to play in meeting London’s air-quality challenge and I would urge Mr Johnson to address its role in future discussion on reducing dangerous emissions within the Capital as a priority.”