Thank you for contacting me about the plans to end the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK by 2035.
In November 2020, the then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the United Kingdom would be phased out by 2030 and that all new cars and vans would be zero emission by 2035. This target has the support of both the Government and the Opposition.
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 it is true that 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.
I agree with the 2030 and 2035 targets. In my view, decarbonising our transport sector is one of the most pressing challenges that we face as a nation, and we need more ambition and more action from this Government if we are to meet net zero. Nevertheless, I respect that you have a different view and I hope that 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 also set out a credible plan as to how this will be done. Such a plan should, in my view, prioritise the creation of low-carbon jobs and industries and it must ensure that communities are properly supported as we make the transition to a greener economy.
More widely, I recognise that it is important for motorcyclists that roads are kept in a good condition. In my view, the Department for Transport should be doing more to ensure that this is the case.
Thank you once again for contacting me about this issue.
Jonathan Reynolds MP
Member of Parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde
Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy
2nd March 2023