Fleet News

Government back-down on particulates under attack

A POWERFUL House of Commons committee has taken the Government to task for failing to tackle the urban pollution caused by diesel-fuelled vehicles. The Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs criticised the Government for relaxing targets for the volume of PM10 particulates in the air.

Diesel vehicles account for one third of all PM10s, which were targeted by 1997's UK Air Quality Strategy. This set a ceiling of just four days a year when particle pollution could exceed specific concentration levels but, in January, the Government raised this ceiling to 35 days in line with a European Union Directive pending completion of National Air Quality Strategy consultations.

'We are concerned that the Government has been too hasty in moving to the European standard which represents a radical reduction in the target,' said the select committee. 'It may be that four exceedances cannot be met in the short term. However, this is no reason for relaxing the standard to 35 exceedances.'

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