Transport Minister announces £30 million to clean up road haulage

The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) has announced that it is to spend £30 million from the Road Haulage Modernisation Fund over the next two years on measures to cut pollution from heavy goods vehicles.

The new donation will be managed by the Cleanup campaign, run by the Energy Saving Trust which was established by the Government in response to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. The campaign provides grants towards the costs of fitting vehicles with emissions reduction equipment or for conversion to alternative fuels.

The money is part of a £100 million package of measures announced in this year’s budget designed to encourage innovation and modernisation in order to achieve environmental benefits (see related story). The package’s initiatives include training for young drivers, and advice to the operators of heavy goods vehicles on improving fuel efficiency. To this end, the Government has also recently published the Fuel Management Guide (see related story).

“Fitting devices such as particulate traps and catalytic converters to lorries can dramatically reduce the amount of pollution they produce,” said Transport Minister Lord Mcdonald. “The funds I’m announcing today will help cut emissions of key pollutants such as particulates from over 10,000 lorries, improving the quality of the air we breathe and making our towns and cities better places in which to live and work. Experts at the Energy Saving Trust are ready to advise operators on which technologies are most appropriate for which vehicles and provide details of the grants available.”

According to the DETR, Cleanup has already helped to reduce emissions from bus, lorry, taxi and other diesel fleets operating in areas of poor quality. The new money is in addition to the programme’s core budget of £30 million over the next three years.

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