PRA express concerns over UK government's clean air initiatives


The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) welcomes the pragmatic steps being announced today by Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, newly installed Secretary of State at the Department of Environment, Rural Affairs & Food (DEFRA).

The steps do not:

  • impose a blanket ban on diesel vehicles across cities and towns 
  • introduce an unattractive diesel scrappage scheme
  • allow unfair penalties to be imposed on diesel drivers by Local Authorities
  • apply to large vans, HGV’s, motorbikes, tractors and other off-the-road equipment

Brian Madderson, PRA Chairman comments, “We are cautious that the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 will require massive financial commitment from Government, manufacturers and consumers, without crippling the UK’s economy. 
“Currently public transport infrastructure and service is under huge stress, and so a very high proportion of workers commute to their workplace by car. The consumer’s appetite for EV’s and financial capability to switch must be considered limited.
“The warning issued by the National Grid earlier this month that there would be insufficient electricity capacity to refuel EV’s if there was a sustained surge in demand, must be taken into account by Government in their strategic planning for energy resilience.
“In the longer term, the Treasury stand to lose up to £20bn of fuel duty and vat tax income every year if retail sales of petrol and diesel evaporate. What are their plans for replacing this significant contributor to the national budget? Are EV’s suddenly going to bear the brunt of the shortfall?
“The Government also has a responsibility to ensure that the performance criteria promoted by competing EV manufacturers is absolutely fair and correct to protect consumers as they consider switching vehicle types. This particularly refers to speed and mileage claims between recharges.
“Finally, the alternative merits of hydrogen fuel cell technology must continue to be properly encouraged.”

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Brian Madderson is available for interview.

About PRA

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses.