Motor industry to host air quality debate

Transport secretary Baroness Kramer will give keynote speech at Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) event next month

Air quality policy makers and the UK motor industry are set to debate pollution hotspots and the latest vehicle emission technology at an event hosted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in London next month.

According to SMMT, the invite-only event – ‘Improving Air Quality: the commercial vehicle contribution’ — will focus on the bus, coach and commercial vehicle sectors’ contribution to improving air quality.

The SMMT event will see a keynote speech from the Transport Secretary Baroness Kramer

The SMMT event will see a keynote speech from the Transport Secretary Baroness Kramer

The Association is keen to showcase industry improvements in diesel technology and last month wrote an open letter to the London Mayor calling for a ‘more ambitious’ ultra low emission zone in the capital from 2020 than is currently planned (see story).

Aimed at national and local government policy stakeholders, fleet operators and vehicle manufacturers, the event will showcase clean air technology embedded in the latest buses, trucks and vans, and investigate potential policy frameworks for clean air in the UK.

Confirmed speakers for the free-to-attend, half-day debate — which takes place at the ME London Hotel on February 11 2015 — include the Minister of State for Transport, Baroness Kramer, who will provide the keynote address.

In addition, chief executive of Transport for Greater Manchester Dr Jon Lamonte, the Greater London Authority’s air quality manager Elliot Treharne and Greenpeace UK chief scientist Dr Doug Parr will also be speaking at the debate.

Meanwhile, broadcast journalist Ginny Buckley will interview bus, truck and van manufacturers about clean air technology in the latest vehicles, including Ford, Iveco, Mercedes-Benz, Optare and Renault Trucks UK.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Buses, coaches, vans and trucks all play a crucial role in the functioning of the UK. Manufacturers have invested heavily in clean Euro-6 technology, which is already playing a vital role in reducing all emissions and making significant improvements to air quality. These vehicles feature the latest emission-reducing technologies, which in tests on London’s 159 bus route, demonstrated an 85-fold reduction in NOx emissions over the previous Euro-5 standard.

“However, as this new air quality event will show, vehicle technology is only part of the solution. To help it reach its full potential, we now need to engage policy makers, operators and manufacturers to help facilitate a cohesive and sustainable transport policy framework. UK government and local authorities must work together with industry to support the uptake of Euro-6 vehicles, and develop effective traffic management policies in and around the UK’s towns, cities and low emission zones.”SMMT event


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