Daniel Zeichner – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Daniel Zeichner on 2016-01-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason passenger cars have been exempted from the proposed clean air zones in her Department’s plan to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Rory Stewart

Local Authorities already have powers under Part 3 of the Transport Act 2000 which can be used to establish Clean Air Zones. Vehicles have to comply with European emissions standards in order to be put on the market and we have been pushing strongly for action to improve the standards and for real driving emission testing to be introduced as quickly as possible.

As set out in our air quality plan for reducing nitrogen dioxide emissions, published on 17 December 2015, we will be requiring five cities in England to introduce Clean Air Zones and discourage certain types of vehicles from entering them. The plan identifies different categories of Clean Air Zone which may be appropriate depending on the circumstances of a particular Local Authority introducing a zone. However, the plan explains that, for those five cities, we have assessed that we can bring the UK into compliance with nitrogen dioxide limits without requiring the Local Authorities to impose restrictions on passenger cars. Further, the plan sets out the Mayor of London’s commitment to introduce an Ultra Low Emission Zone by September 2020 covering a range of vehicles, including passenger cars.