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Engine Idling

Volume 663: debated on Thursday 18 July 2019

Mr Speaker, you will be aware that vehicle idling is a major factor in poor air quality. That is why we plan to launch a consultation on increasing fines for idling drivers. We will seek a range of views on changes that would be the biggest since 2002 and how we can work with local authorities to tackle the issue.

Southampton, like many other cities, has poor air quality, and engine idling makes that worse, particularly on the Northam rail bridge in my constituency. I have written to the Secretary of State to support a bid to replace that bridge. When will he make a decision? Will he look favourably on our bid, and are we likely to be successful?

I am expecting to receive proposals from Transport for the South East at the end of July on the schemes that we prioritise for the major road network and large local majors funding for that area. I am certainly aware of the proposal in my hon. Friend’s constituency, which is a potential candidate. I cannot anticipate the result, but he makes a good point about the way in which schemes like that can make a real difference to air quality. Those who seek to cancel improvements on our roads will make matters worse, not better.