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31.12.2015
United Kingdom
Sector: LPG

Clean Air Zones coming to UK cities

British government has announced plans to introduce Clean Air Zones in five UK cities to improve deteriorating air quality. Autogas has a role to play, but interestingly it will be used on commercial vehicles rather than private cars.
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LPG-powered TX4 black cab taxi© Autogas LimitedThis black cab isn't actually black, but that's because it's considerably cleaner than its diesel-powered counterparts

Of course, individual drivers are free to make the switch from conventional fuels to LPG whenever they wish to do so, but the point is nothing's going to be imposed on them by the authorities. Instead, the new proposals will affect the most polluting vehicles on the roads today, powered by aging Diesel engines – taxis, buses, coaches and trucks.

The decision to introduce Clean Air Zones (in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton) is a measure taken to make the UK meet strict EU nitrogen oxides emission standards, which are currently exceeded in the country's major cities. Nitrogen oxides come primarily from diesel-powered cars, trucks and buses, so these types of vehicles are the primary target.

In fact, a fleet of taxi cabs running on LPG autogas instead of diesel fuel is already being implemented. One such vehicle, an iconic TX4, has been recently presented to members of the British parliament and it received very positive feedback. It cuts NOX emissions significantly, while at the same time it provides the drivers with remarkable cost cuts (net savings are estimated at approx. 20% at current UK average fuel prices).

We’re extremely encouraged by these latest plans to help clean up air quality in the UK’s most affected towns and cities. We have already made significant progress with Birmingham in helping the city replace its taxi fleet with a cleaner LPG solution. The creation of the Clean Air Zones and the ongoing focus of vehicles such as taxi cabs means that we are confident that many other towns and cities will now look towards pioneering cities such as Birmingham and see how they too can introduce a cleaner LPG powered alternative that can make an immediate positive impact.

We look forward to further discussions with DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) to ensure that drivers of retrofitted LPG vehicles can enter the Clean Air Zones without any restrictions and helping address the clean air challenge on a much wider basis. Furthermore we are keen to talk to any other councils, local authorities or van fleets about how LPG can help them reduce their vehicle emissions.

Linda Gomersall, general manager, Autogas Limited



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