Christian Matheson – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Christian Matheson on 2016-04-08.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department issues guidance to bus operators on air pollution control and leaving bus engines running idle while at a bus stand.

Andrew Jones

The Government fully recognises the potential hazards to health and the environment that pollutant emissions from motor vehicles can cause, including when vehicle engines are left idling. Whilst the Government has not issued specific guidance on the subject of idling by bus operators, under Regulation 98 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended, it is an offence to cause emissions or noise by leaving a vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily whilst stationary on the road – other than when in traffic. Local authorities also have powers under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002 to issue fixed penalty notices for this offence.

We are committed to improving the UK’s air quality, reducing health impacts and fulfilling our legal obligations. Our air quality plan for nitrogen dioxide, published on 17 December 2015, sets out a comprehensive approach to meeting our ambition for the UK to have some of the cleanest air in the world, including by implementing a new programme of Clean Air Zones. Under the Plan, by 2020 the most polluting vehicles, including older polluting buses, will be discouraged from entering the centres of Birmingham, Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby. As part of the plan, London also has a well-developed strategy for improving air quality, including the implementation of an ultra-low emission zone by 2020 – which will cover a range of vehicles, also including buses.