Fleet News

Government should focus on worst polluters

TRANSPORT ministers have been told to target buses, taxis, lorries and older cars in a new drive to reduce inner city pollution. On the eve of the Budget, a report by the Commission for Integrated Transport recognises the 'sweeping environmental benefits' of modern car fleets

But it adds the Government should focus on the worst vehicle polluters. The Commission has called for added incentives for bus companies and HGV and taxi operators to retrofit particulate traps on older diesel vehicles, and for catalytic converters to be fitted on the estimated 10 million pre-1993 petrol-engined cars responsible for 60% of nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions.

The report says direct grants or extended vehicle excise duty rebates could be used to accelerate retrofits in HGV and cab fleets, and states that the current fuel duty rebate regime used to subsidise bus operations should be changed to promote the use of cleaner vehicles. The report could also re-open the car scrappage debate. The Commission says that rather than offering owners of older cars a cash incentive to scrap their cars, they should be offered public transport season tickets. It also proposes restricting access to local authority low emission zones to vehicles equipped with catalysts.

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