MP Responses

Hilary Benn MP response

Hilary Benn MP response
Hilary Benn MP: Labour – Leeds Central

Dear [….],

Thank you for contacting me about the plans to end the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles (including motorcycles) in the UK by 2035. In November 2020 the Government announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK would be phased out by 2030 and all new cars and vans would be zero emission by 2035. I support this target.

Decarbonising our transport sector is one of the most pressing challenges that we face as a nation. As you will know, the Department for Transport consulted on ending new non-zero emission L-category vehicles sales by 2035 between July and September 2022. However, we are still waiting for the Government to respond to the consultation and I know it is really important that the transition to zero emission vehicles is smooth.

The evidence is clear that transport is our country’s largest emitting sector, responsible for 24% of the UK’s total emissions in 2020. While motorcycles are less polluting than other combustion engine vehicles, there were over 1.4 million motorcycles licensed in 2020 and the Department for Transport has stated that it “does not want to see them remaining fossil fuelled as the rest of the vehicle fleet cleans up.” It points out that zero emission powered light vehicles are a clean and efficient way of getting around and can reduce congestion, air, and noise pollution from transport.

Nevertheless, I respect that you may disagree and I hope the Government reflects on the concerns that you raise. It is important that, at the same time as accelerating the phase out of combustion engines, Ministers set out a credible plan as to how this will be done. This should, in my view, prioritise the creation of low-carbon jobs and industries and ensure that communities are properly supported as we make the transition to a greener economy.

I continue to believe that we need more ambition and more action from this Government if we are to meet net zero. As part of this, we must support motorists by supporting the transition to cheaper electric vehicles, making them affordable and accessible to all with charging facilities everywhere.

Thank you once again for contacting me about this issue.

Best wishes



18th July 2023