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Decarbonising Transport

Volume 670: debated on Thursday 30 January 2020

Now that so much energy—over half of it, last year—is being produced on a renewable basis, it is essential that transport reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, as it accounts for about a third of total emissions.

We have seen great progress in battery technology for light vehicles, but decarbonising road freight is going to be a much more difficult nut to crack. Does the Secretary of State think that we need to look at options such as hydrogen technology for trucks, or even freeing up space on our rail network by building HS2?

Let me be drawn on the first part of that question, if I may. My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. Hydrogen technology is very important for heavier vehicles and potentially for trains, whereas it is battery technology for cars. We are working and funding both.

21. I thank the Secretary of State for listening to my call last July and bringing Northern Rail back into public ownership from 1 March. When the trains do arrive on the Harrogate line through my constituency, they are dirty diesel trains. Will he commit to electrifying the Harrogate line so that we can have carbon-neutral travel? (900523)

On the hon. Gentleman’s specific point, I have asked the operator of last resort to do a deep clean of all the trains from 1 March, and that there should be a proper schedule in place and they are cleaned. It is disgraceful that they should ever be turning up dirty in the first place. There are also new trains coming on to the network. As part of yesterday’s announcement, next year trains will be brought up from elsewhere on to the network as well.