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LP Gas sector challenges government to meet air quality challenge

Politicians, automotive influencers and environmental experts joined forces at a Parliamentary reception hosted by Lord Chris Smith, former head of the Environment Agency, yesterday (20th January) to urge the government to adopt a series of measures which could help improve air quality in the UK and avoid further EU fines for air pollution violations.

Speaking at the launch of the LPG Autogas Blueprint, A Low Carbon Alternative Fuel for Today, chief executive of the LP Gas trade association UKLPG, Rob Shuttleworth, identified a number of key actions the government should adopt to deliver improved air quality and lower carbon emissions across the UK.

He said: “Liquefied Petroleum Gas is an incredibly versatile, plentiful and clean fuel which deserves greater recognition for its air quality credentials. Through our work with policy makers in Europe and the Blueprint launched this month, we are calling on the UK government to overtly promote an integrated road fuels strategy that sets out a framework for all fuels, including LPG Autogas.

“Additionally, we ask that consideration is given to a limited incentive programme to remove the most polluting vehicles from the UK’s roads, which should offer the option of converting to LPG Autogas. Furthermore, we call on the government to implement a level playing field by setting the same duty rate for all gaseous fuels to achieve fuel parity in the UK.”

Also present at the launch, environmental expert Dr Eric Johnson outlined the low-carbon benefits of LPG Autogas. Pulling on data from an independent German test facility, Dr Johnson explained: “In environmental terms LPG Autogas cars came out similarly to CNG cars and ahead of petrol and diesel. Compared to petrol and diesel, LPG Autogas cars are lower carbon. Compared to diesel, LPG is lower on pollutants that are harmful to human health.”

Attending the launch, Shadow Transport Minister, Richard Burden MP, also called for a much more comprehensive vision for the future of road transport, recognising the LPG Autogas Blueprint as an important contribution to the debate. Speaking to UKLPG representatives, he argued that the quest for personal mobility should not be seen as exclusive to the demands of a low carbon economy.

Widely available for use in vehicles in the UK since 2000, around 150,000 drivers benefit from driving on LPG Auotgas, available at more than 1,400 refuelling sites across the UK. Vehicles powered by LPG Autogas are much less harmful to the environment, emitting significantly fewer harmful pollutants such as CO2, NOx and particulate matter than petrol or diesel models.

Thanks to its better environmental performance, LPG Autogas incurs a lower fuel duty than petrol or diesel, ensuring that it currently retails for an average of 61.6 pence per litre compared with 106.98 pence per litre for unleaded petrol, as reported by petrolprices.com on 20th January. A significant attraction of LPG Autogas is that users can typically reduce their fuel bills by up to 40%.

To download a copy of the Blueprint, visit our Automotive LPG page.