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Integrated UK fuel strategy urged to tackle air pollution

Liquefied Petroleum Gas industry calls for integrated fuel strategy, vehicle scrappage schemes and more council support

The UK needs a “proper integrated fuel strategy” as well as a vehicle scrappage scheme and more support for councils in order to improve air quality, according to the UK’s Liquified Petroleum Gas industry.

UKLPG, the trade association of the LPG industry, called on the government to adopt a series of measures to cut traffic pollution as it launched its air quality blueprint in London this week (January 20) aimed at promoting the environmental benefits of LPG fuel.

UKLPG chief executive Rob Shuttleworth at the launch of the air quality blueprint with Lord Chris Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency

UKLPG chief executive Rob Shuttleworth at the launch of the air quality blueprint with Lord Chris Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency

LPG autogas has been used in UK vehicles since 2000 and there are currently around 150,000 drivers using the fuel, which is available at more than 1,400 refuelling sites in the UK.

The report claims that LPG autogas attracts a lower fuel duty than petrol or diesel and is “much less harmful to the environment”, producing several times less nitrogen dioxide than petrol, as well as 80% less nitrogen oxides than diesel. It also states that “diesels produce several times more NO2 than petrol cars”.

In the blueprint – ‘A Low Carbon Alternative Fuel for Today’ – the LPG industry identifies a number of key actions, including the adoption of a more integrated road fuels strategy designed to “restore confidence to the sector and encourage a genuine partnership between the industry, vehicle manufacturers and policy makers, which results in improved air quality and lower carbon emissions”.

The UKLPG document calls for greater consultation with government departments on air quality issues and for air quality to be given the “same level of priority as tackling climate change”.

It urges for incentive schemes in order to “remove the most polluting cars from the road (potentially through conversion to LPG autogas)”.

Furthermore, it also calls for wider support for local authorities to convert their fleets to less-polluting fuel types, as well as reviewing wider incentives for road fuels through working with local authorities and the Mayor of London.

Linda Gomersall, general manager at UKLPG member Autogas Limited, said: “A proper integrated fuels strategy, which includes LPG, is essential to help the UK tackle its growing air quality and carbon emissions problems. This new document is a result of extensive consultation and sets out some very clear, yet incredibly simple ways in which government could help the industry address these critical environmental and health issues.”

Shadow roads minister, Richard Burden MP, at the launch of the UKLPG air quality blueprint in London

Shadow roads minister, Richard Burden MP, at the launch of the UKLPG air quality blueprint in London

She added: “LPG autogas is an established and proven solution in helping address environmental and health issues and we look forward to working even more closely with government to encourage its greater take-up by UK motorists.”

Diesel

UKLPG’s report – which seeks to promote the environmental benefits of LPG as a road fuel – comes while the Society of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has on the other hand recently sought to put forward the air quality case for newer diesel technology.

As well as calling for “more ambitious” London 2020 ULEZ plans to place similar limits on petrol vehicles and diesel vehicles (see airqualitynews.com story), SMMT has also this week slammed “unfair” plans in Hackney and Islington to levy an additional parking permit charge against drivers of the most polluting diesel vehicles (see airqualitynews.com story).

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