The UK Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (UKLPG) is urging the government to support automotive LPG as part of its commitment to improving air quality in urban areas.

The demand follows calls by Labour MP Diane Abbott for the introduction of an ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) in the capital by 2018 and tougher action to be taken on getting the most polluting taxis and buses off the road.

UKLPG is urging ministers to support increased take-up of automotive LPG, stating that the quality of air in UK cities is worsening each year, and pollution is contributing to the premature deaths of approximately 3,400 Londoners per annum.

As the British government has already been ordered by the Supreme Court to clean up its air quality act, or face millions of pounds in fines for failing to cut levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx),UKLPG believes an examination of the benefits of automotive LPG as an alternative fuel is extremely timely.

With many governments now favouring vehicles with low emissions of nitrogen dioxide and particulates, UKLPG is urging ministers to support increased take-up of automotive LPG, and to work with the body on the development of low-carbon road transport for both commercial vehicles and motorists.

This could become part of reforms due to be announced in next month’s Budget on July 8th to encourage motorists to switch from the most polluting diesel vehicles to low-emission models, plans for which were outlined in the government’s recent debate.

Rob Shuttleworth, chief executive of UKLPG, said: “As a low-carbon energy, automotive LPG has huge air quality benefits. It is a versatile and flexible fuel with less environmental impact than the alternatives. We would welcome a dialogue with ministers to see how we can support their proposals for lower emissions.”