Motion to Approve
My Lords, in this group of three statutory instruments, the first relates to type approval and the remaining two to carbon dioxide emissions from cars and vans and heavy duty vehicles or HDVs. The instruments have been considered by the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee and the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, and neither drew them to the attention of your Lordships’ House.
First, the Road Vehicle and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Type-Approval) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 will be made under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and the Road Traffic Act 1988 and are needed for the end of the transition period. This instrument amends the previous regulations relating to type approval approved by your Lordships’ House on 20 February 2019, which I will call the 2019 regulations.
There are two main areas of amendment in this first SI. The first is to change the regulations so that they apply in Great Britain and not in Northern Ireland. This is to implement our Northern Ireland protocol obligations and is so that we maintain control over the registration of vehicles and ensure unfettered access to Great Britain for businesses in Northern Ireland after the transition period.
Currently, most new vehicles can be registered and placed on the UK market only with a valid EU type approval. Existing EU exit legislation provides for a provisional UK-wide type-approval scheme to maintain control of vehicle registration after the transition period. It must now be amended to implement our Northern Ireland protocol obligations. The protocol applies EU type-approval legislation to Northern Ireland, so this instrument disapplies the 2019 regulations in Northern Ireland, essentially leaving the status quo in place there, while ensuring unfettered access for goods produced in Northern Ireland to the GB market. Vehicles sold in Northern Ireland will continue to be registered using an approval issued against EU standards, either by an EU authority or by the UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency, known as VCA.
The second area of amendment in this SI is that it removes an EU restriction limiting the height of mass-produced vehicles and trailers to four metres. This rule was introduced by the EU to protect infrastructure such as overhead tram wires in some member states. Manufacturers can currently produce vehicles taller than four metres for the UK, such as double-decker buses, but must use a more cumbersome national approval scheme that is designed for low-volume producers. This change will allow the main type-approval scheme to be used, which is more straightforward and economical for manufacturers.
The second instrument in the group is the Road Vehicle Carbon Dioxide Emission Performance Standards (Cars and Vans) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020, covering the setting of carbon dioxide emission targets and their enforcement on new car and van manufacturers. These regulations will create requirements in Great Britain only, given that they are also covered by the Northern Ireland protocol.
EU regulation establishes mandatory fleet average carbon dioxide emissions targets for all new cars and vans registered in the EU per calendar year. Manufacturers receive individual fleet targets based on this top-level target by comparing the average weight of their fleet against the average weight of all relevant vehicles registered in the EU. As only the fleet average is regulated, manufacturers may sell vehicles with emissions above their target, provided that the emissions of their entire fleet balance out. Fines are levied on manufacturers for non-compliance.
The draft instrument corrects deficiencies in the EU regulation as well as in associated delegated regulations and implementing decisions, providing the Government with the ability to set and enforce emissions targets that are
“at least as ambitious as the current arrangements for vehicle emissions regulation”,
which the Government committed to in 2018. It also amends a prior EU exit SI, the Road Vehicle Emission Performance Standards (Cars and Vans) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, reflecting changes to the EU regulation since that SI was laid.
Finally, the New Heavy Duty Vehicles (Carbon Dioxide Emission Performance Standards) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 establish carbon dioxide reduction targets for new heavy duty vehicles or HDV fleets designed to encourage the uptake of zero-emission vehicles and to promote efficiency improvements in new internal combustion engines. There are no Northern Ireland protocol considerations with this instrument.
Manufacturers receive individual fleet targets that match the EU-wide carbon-reduction targets in the legislation. As only the fleet average is regulated, manufacturers may sell vehicles with emissions above their target, again provided that the emissions of their entire fleet balance out. Fines will be levied on manufacturers for non-compliance from 2025.
As with cars and vans, this instrument ensures that the Government can set and enforce emissions targets on new HDV manufacturers that are
“at least as ambitious as the current arrangements”.
It also amends a 2019 EU exit SI on the collection of data from new HDVs to reflect subsequent changes to EU legislation.
The changes made in the type-approval and the carbon dioxide emissions standards SIs ensure that we retain control of the registration of vehicles, maintain continuity of vehicle approvals and emissions, minimise costs to industry and implement the Northern Ireland protocol. I commend these regulations to the House.
My Lords, I thank the Minister for her explanation of these regulations and recognise the urgent need to get them through in time for the end of the transition period, so I intervene not to oppose or amend the transposition, but to get a clearer idea of how the Government intend to proceed in this area, once we have a so-called independent system of regulation, and to put these regulations in a wider context.
My first concern relates to the degree to which any future revisions of these regulations can, in reality, be completely unilateral here in the UK. For example, just this week, the Government announced that they intend to phase out all new diesel and petrol cars by 2030. Presumably, in advance, the Government will tighten the regulations in stages to make a smooth transition away from fossil-fuel-based cars and lorries by making the worst carbon emitters, in effect, illegal first and then by making, in stages, all new vehicles, whether manufactured here or imported, illegal from 2030. Can we do that if the EU is not doing so on the same timescale or in the same stages?
The vast majority of cars and commercial vehicles registered in this country are made by EU-based companies, such as Volkswagen, Renault, Volvo and BMW, or by non-EU companies that have Europe-wide subsidiaries, such as Honda, Toyota, Ford and General Motors. Car production systems are, in effect, an integrated European shop floor, in which different components are produced in different countries, with assembly in different places according to the model. They are traded across Europe without regard to their final assembly location.
In the emissions area, EU regulations are, perhaps notoriously, set with the interests of German manufacturers firmly in mind. That is unlikely to change much after Brexit. It is possible, nevertheless, that the EU’s new commitments on climate change will impose tougher regulations on new models. It is possible, but not certain and probably not likely. So how, in this integrated world of cross-border manufacturing and trading of new models, is it possible for UK carbon-emissions limitations to be seriously out of sync with EU-regulated limits? I am talking about the 10-year period from now until 2030. In reality, can the UK move to tighter limits than Europe during that run-in period? If not, the target to phase out all new fossil-fuel-based vehicles by 2030 looks seriously more difficult.
Another query relates to integrating limits on carbon emissions, as the second and third regulations here do, with other vehicular emissions under air quality rules. In a different context, the Government have already announced in the Environment Bill that they will at some point require levels for area-based exposure limits on a number of exceedances of noxious emissions, from NOx and NO2 to particulates, in a way that would be better than current EU standards and closer to the WHO recommended maximum. At this point, I declare my honorary presidency of the Environmental Protection UK charity.
There are other sources of air pollution but clearly the biggest contributors to excess pollution and most level exceedances are vehicle emissions and the concomitant traffic problems. While the origins of particulates in the combustion system are different from carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, the filtering systems are not very different. The engineering therefore could be combined. The history of successive phases of government attitudes towards diesel shows that, if not managed properly, there can be a conflict between air quality ambitions and carbon reduction ambitions. Would it not be better to seek a unified system of regulation and specification to cover all vehicle emissions? Are the Government considering this either unilaterally or with the EU or, indeed, the Japanese and American regulatory authorities? If not, why not?
Underlying all this, in all vehicular emission regulations are the Government really committed to an enhanced system of real-world testing of the actual level of emissions on the road, rather than relying on the results of laboratory trials? These are conducted largely by the manufacturers and, as we saw in the Volkswagen case, the results can be illegally distorted by them. Unless we guarantee the real-world accuracy of emissions claims, no amount of improvement in the regulations will deliver, in terms of either carbon saving or cleaner, healthier air.
My Lords, my questions, of which I have given the Minister notice, relate almost entirely to the enforcement of standards. Can she tell us who enforces these regulations? Are the bodies that enforce them up to strength? Can they conduct real-time, on-the-road tests, other than occasional visits to vehicle inspection points, occasionally police ones? Also, when an offending vehicle is found, which I think in most cases will likely be a vehicle registered outside the United Kingdom, do the arrangements we have with Europe allow the European courts to process the offence or will that be one of the things we will lose on leaving the European Union?
My Lords, here we are again, debating yet more of the necessary instruments ahead of the end of the transition period, following our leaving the EU. Of course, they are necessary; without them we would have no suitable regulations in place to replace those where the ultimate arbiter at present is the European Commission. However, these changes, like so many others in this plethora of statutory instruments, present us with a number of questions. I intend to concentrate on the third instrument, which deals with carbon dioxide emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.
To prepare for this debate I took it on myself to consult logistics managers and vehicle constructors. I have also looked with interest at some of the Department for Transport’s own plans and ideas for the future of road transport in the UK. The statement by the UK Government that they now aim to see the end of sales of new diesel and petrol engine cars and vans by 2030, not as previously planned, is interesting but it does not extend to heavy-duty vehicles, including buses and trucks. These are covered, as we all know, by the current EU regulations that set out targets for CO2 emission reductions of 15% in 2025-29 and 30% from 2030. It is those regulations that we seek to retain but under UK control.
We must realise that in recent years EU truck standards have tended to focus on air quality rather than CO2 emissions, hence the current Euro 6 standard for new trucks, which has radically and successfully reduced emissions of nitrogen oxide and visible soot but has made much smaller impacts on CO2 emissions. Transport emissions of CO2 in the UK have fallen by only 3% since 1990, compared with total domestic CO2 emissions, which have reduced by 43%. The provisions before us say nothing about the replication or replacement of Euro 6 standards. Can my noble friend point us in the direction of how this will change? Will we need to replace Euro 6 with “UK 6”?
UK logistics providers work on the basis of investment in trucks with useful lifespans to them of at least 10 years. This means that new diesel vehicles being ordered now will still be in service in 2030. Many of these vehicles that reach the age of 10 are then placed in a world marketplace and can enjoy many more years of active service in other parts of the world. In the case of UK trucks, that is normally in other right-hand drive markets, in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.
As my noble friend knows, the DfT is working on an interesting set of future possibilities in its transport decarbonisation plan, which is promised by the end of this year. Can she confirm that in the deployment of the regulations we are debating today the outcome of that plan will be part of the process of future guidance to logistics operators and manufacturers? Among the areas being considered as replacements for petrol and diesel power are battery electric, hydrogen fuel cells, electric road systems such as trolley buses, biogas and synthetic fuels. Bearing in mind the long lead time for investment, the heavy-duty vehicle industry needs as much certainty as possible as to what the future direction will be.
The UK is lucky that we have many experts in engineering and academia who are willing to assist, but in order to meet future emissions standards we must be clearer as to our desired direction soon. With the hosting of COP 26 next year, the UK has a great opportunity to find a new set of objectives, not only for cars and vans but for HGVs. These regulations do what they have to do but, like so many other EU SIs, they answer only half the question. I mentioned the Euro 6 standard for nitrogen oxide and we have here specific targets for limiting CO2 but even if we adopt the agreed EU position now, how do we intend to maintain the standards which might be enhanced by the EU in future? Will we always agree to maintain international standards? If not, we could be left on our own in a gloriously isolated way, with implications for our manufacturers and operators of vehicles.
I note, and my noble friend confirmed this in her opening speech, that the Government maintain that the instrument has been designed to
“ensure the UK can meet its commitment to ensuring that UK CO2 emissions regulation is at least as ambitious as current arrangements; and … provide certainty to vehicle manufacturers”.
This is welcome but will my noble friend explain how, if we wish to improve on EU regulations, we will ensure that those improvements will be acceptable to the EU so as not to disadvantage our businesses? HGVs currently do not have the same time limits on their propulsion systems as cars and vans, but it is in everybody’s interest to deal with their emissions as part of our environmental improvements. I just want to be sure that after the end of the EU transition period we do not end up with confusion, contradiction or a deprivation of our businesses’ ability to succeed in this new and challenging international marketplace.
My Lords, I support other noble Lords who have already spoken. These statutory instruments cannot be argued with, because they are necessary and even innocuous. However, they raise the wider problems that we have with our transport system, one of which is air pollution.
We have a national problem with air pollution. It hits the poorest and most vulnerable hardest of all. Often, those who are more vulnerable are children, and when we affect children’s growth and lung capacity, we are storing up problems for the next 50 or 60 years, or possibly longer— problems for the individuals but also of course for the National Health Service. Therefore, reducing air pollution has to be a priority, in which case the Government’s idea of cutting out petrol and diesel by 2030 sounds very good, but of course it is not part of a coherent plan. It is no good saying that electric vehicles are a comprehensive answer to this, because clearly they are not; carbon emissions are inherent in their manufacture and their running, and it all depends on where their electricity comes from, how many times they are used and whether the number of cars on the road is reduced.
The other big problem is that we really have to reduce the amount of traffic. It is a problem for our city centres and for our towns and villages, and it is time that the Government came up with some sort of plan. Road pricing, launched today, is a very good idea. The Green Party has advocated it for many years, but the fact is that it has to be done properly. People have to have a guarantee of privacy—they do not want to sign up to something or use a system that will reduce their privacy.
There is also the issue of exceptions for people who need to use their cars—for example, those who run small businesses and people with disabilities. We must reduce the growing volume of traffic but, at the same time as the Government have come up with this plan for theoretically reducing traffic with road pricing, they have also given the go-ahead for the Salisbury tunnel. There seems to be no coherence in the government policy structure. I would be grateful if the noble Baroness could tell me who is putting together a strategic view of our transport system and if she could give me their name and address, so that I can write to them.
My Lords, I had some sympathy with the noble Lord, Lord Kirkhope, when he started with the words “Here we are again”. These SIs are part of the mountain of paperwork which is part of the bureaucratic nightmare we have created for ourselves in leaving the EU. Those of us who deal with transport issues have been patiently working our way through a very large number of SIs to make it possible for us to leave the EU while, apparently, keeping everything exactly the same.
We thought that we had completed the first of these SIs last year. We had gone through it and replaced “EU Commission” with “Secretary of State”, but, thanks to the Northern Ireland protocol, it now has to be amended again to allow for the continued operation of vehicle and engine type approval schemes in Northern Ireland based on EU rules. Ironically, they will be operated by the UK approval authority, the Vehicle Certification Agency, which will also operate separate Great Britain-type approval schemes. This is a detailed first glimpse at the complexity of trying to operate two different systems across the UK. The SI allows Northern Ireland manufacturers to access the Northern Ireland market by using either an EU-type approval or a Northern Ireland approval issued by the VCA.
I conclude that all that means is that Great Britain as a whole will shadow EU standards; otherwise, Northern Ireland will, in practice, become a separate market, with much stronger links to the EU than to Great Britain. In addition, the Explanatory Memorandum confirms that, as standards are identical, Northern Ireland manufacturers will be able to sell and register vehicles in Great Britain using either an EU or a Northern Ireland VCA approval. We can begin to see from the discussion of the issues that the operators of big businesses such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco, in a very different field, are expressing concern about how the standard system will operate in the future.
However, there is, just for once, a plan to diverge from EU standards. As the Minister mentioned, there will no longer be a maximum vehicle height of four metres. It appears from the Explanatory Memorandum that we already have a lot of vehicles higher than that, but, of course, not having to adhere to that standard will mean that there will be a general tendency for vehicles to get higher.
A consultation was held. Were Network Rail or any of the train operating companies consulted on removing the four-metre limit on vehicles? I ask that because there are increasingly frequent collisions with bridges, which have a hugely disruptive effect on the railways. I know that Network Rail and the train operating companies are extremely concerned about the frequency with which these collisions occur. Almost all of them occur because someone tries to drive a vehicle that is too high under a bridge that will not accommodate it. Therefore, this is of great relevance to our railways. I hope that they were included in the consultation, or at least that the Government have informed them of this.
I now move to the issue of CO2 emission performance standards. These regulations are designed to ensure that the Government can continue to regulate CO2 emissions for newly registered cars and vans. As other noble Lords have made clear, CO2 emission standards have been the subject of huge controversy and could undoubtedly be measured a great deal more realistically. The move to on-the-road standards is important. This SI deals with the change in the way that manufacturers apply exemptions. It is pretty obvious that if you have too many exemptions, the standards will not be as effective as they should be.
I understand entirely the practical issue, which the Minister explained to us, that the system will not work at the end of this year, so the UK will have to give each manufacturer an individual threshold based on their EU shares of sales and registrations in the UK, but newly registered vehicles that are moved permanently to Northern Ireland or elsewhere outside Great Britain are removed from Great Britain’s emissions target. That leads me to ask the Minister: how will the emissions target for Northern Ireland be set? We will have a target for Great Britain, but obviously there needs to be a target for Northern Ireland. It also leads me to say to the Minister that this is a genuine opportunity for Britain to do better, to set higher standards than the EU. It is our chance to be different and to move faster.
I was delighted to hear suggestions that the Government are now committed to the 2030 target for the end of petrol and diesel vehicles. Other noble Lords have referred to that. I agree with their questions, so I will not repeat them in detail, about what plans the Government have to ensure that they take forward this obligation very swiftly. If it is going to work, it has to be adopted quickly.
On the final SI, I have a couple of questions relating to heavy duty vehicle emission standards. First, these regulations apply to the whole of the UK. I read the notes very carefully. Why does Northern Ireland not need a separate system as it has in the previous two SIs? Secondly, can the Minister clarify what the impact of the change of dates for the reporting year will be? The reporting year will move from the end of February to the end of September. Will the Minister explain why and how that extra six months will be taken into account?
I am pleased to see that the consultation has led to a change in approach from the Government on the number of data fields to be reported—in other words, I am pleased to see that the Government have responded to the consultation. However, the respondents suggested a study of the UK fleet as a comparator to the EU baseline. Will that study be taken forward?
My Lords, I, too, thank the Minister for her explanation of the purpose and content of these regulations. As has been said, certain regulations on vehicles and carbon dioxide emission targets are currently regulated by the EU. The draft Road Vehicles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Type-Approval) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 amend temporary regulations from 2019 to enable the continued operation after the transition period of
“vehicle and engine type approval schemes”
in Northern Ireland, to allow vehicles and engines produced in Northern Ireland that meet EU standards to be sold in Britain as well as to permit vehicles over 4 metres to be sold here. The regulations amend the 2019 regulations so that they apply to Great Britain only. There is a need to bring these regulation into effect to enable us to meet our obligations under the Northern Ireland protocol. EU rules relating to vehicle and engine type approved schemes will still apply to Northern Ireland.
The draft New Heavy Duty Vehicles (Carbon Dioxide Emission Performance Standards) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020, in essence, retain two EU regulations regarding heavy duty vehicles’ CO2 emissions in UK law. One sets out targets for reducing HDV CO2 emissions and the other sets out monitoring and reporting requirements. As has been said, these regulations apply to the whole of the UK.
The draft Road Vehicle Carbon Dioxide Emission Performance Standards (Cars and Vans) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 amend retained EU regulations designed to lower CO2 emissions over the next decade so that the UK Government can regulate emissions from newly registered cars and vans in Great Britain after the transition period ends. In particular, these regulations change the way manufacturers can apply for exemptions from their CO2 targets. Under the current EU system, manufacturers can apply for an exemption if their total registrations for that year fall below a certain predefined threshold. After the end of the transition period, the UK will give each manufacturer an individual threshold based on its share of EU sales in the UK in—I think—2017.
Car CO2 emission regulations lowering such emissions that are permitted, backed up by penalties, are an important driver for manufacturers to increase the supply of electric vehicles, and sales of electric cars have grown considerably in the first nine months of this year compared with last year. The Government say they are setting, and will enforce, emissions reductions that are at least as ambitious as under the current EU arrangements for vehicle emissions regulation.
However, the independent Transport & Environment think tank has contested that claim on two principal counts. First, the regulations we are considering use the average mass of cars in the EU to set targets for future carbon dioxide emissions rather than the average mass of cars in the UK. This, Transport & Environment argues, will result in setting lower targets for the UK than under the current EU regime because UK cars are, on average, heavier. Secondly, these regulations allow manufacturers to use an additional 3.5 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre of super-credits—or free credits—as an additional allowance for producing CO2 for some battery and plug in-hybrid vehicles that, in many cases, also have internal combustion engines. The effect of this, Transport & Environment says, is that replacing EU regulations with the proposals in these draft regulations will mean that one-fifth fewer electric vehicles will be sold in the UK because the incentive for manufacturers to increase the supply of electric vehicles will be less, as they will not need to produce so many to enable them to comply with the lower carbon emission reduction standard.
As we all recognise, reducing the carbon dioxide produced by road transport needs to be a central priority for government. If it is the case—I repeat, if it is the case—that in reality these regulations in relation to cars and vans water down the existing EU requirements on reductions in CO2 emissions, that would be a backward step. This question was raised during the debate in the Commons on these regulations, but it did not really get a response from the Commons Minister to the case being made by Transport & Environment and the reasons why that case was either correct or incorrect.
I very much hope that the Minister will be able to address this question in more detail, either in the Government’s response or subsequently in writing. I also await with interest the Government’s response to the questions that have been posed by other noble Lords, not least the important questions raised by my noble friend Lord Whitty on the extent to which we will, in reality, be able to determine our own emissions standards and the phasing out of sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles.
My Lords, I thank all noble Lords for their consideration of these draft regulations. I will respond to as many points as I am able in the time available and will of course follow up with a letter if needed; there have certainly been some questions on which I know I do not have the information to hand—but I will do my best.
I turn first to the role of the VCA. The noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, noted an interesting point about how the VCA was going to do both GB-type approval and UK/NI-type approval. She may be interested to know that it also does EU-type approval, in conjunction with other EU member states. The VCA is a really high-quality certification agency and I am really proud of the work that it does. So, although I am grateful for the concerns that the noble Baroness raised, I believe that being able to respond to different type approvals in different countries with different requirements is well within the grasp of the VCA.
The noble Baroness talked about the impact on trade with Northern Ireland and what it is going to look like over time. I agree that we are in quite an interesting moment as we settle down to the new regime and how it will all work, but it is the case that the role of the Northern Ireland protocol is to make sure that certain elements are reflected where needed and that trade can continue as much as possible, so unfettered access ensures that Northern Ireland businesses do not need additional approvals to sell in GB. However, we will monitor the situation and consider applying anti-avoidance measures if concerns are raised about goods potentially arriving into GB that have come from elsewhere via Northern Ireland. For the time being, though, we are perfectly confident that the new regime will work very effectively.
On the issue of the removal of height restrictions, the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, asked if we felt that vehicles were going to get higher. We do not. The whole purpose of the removal of the height restriction is purely so that the vehicles can be approved under the more standard type approval process rather than the small-volume type approval process, so it is really just to make it easier for manufacturers. I do not expect our double-decker buses or trailers to get taller any time soon, although I recognise her concern about bridge strikes. They concern me too, particularly when they involve double-decker buses that could have passengers on them. That issue is a big concern for the industry; I have written to bus operators about it and asked them to make sure that their vehicles are going down the roads that they should be.
I turn to the carbon dioxide SIs. I reiterate that the Government are committed to our international and national environmental obligations. We absolutely recognise the need to go further than the existing regulatory framework, but of course what noble Lords are discussing today relates to the carbon dioxide framework in EU law as is, which we are just bringing across and making sure that it works—so it does not really apply to future considerations.
The noble Lord, Lord Rosser, said his opposite number did not get a good response from the Commons Minister. I am going to do my best, but I fear that I will need to follow up with a letter. On the standards for cars and vans, the headline targets are 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre for cars and 147 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre for vans. Those are being retained, as are the formulae setting out the individual manufacturer targets—so those things are set in stone. However, these formulae set individual targets by comparing the weight of a manufacturer’s new vehicle fleet against the average EU vehicle, and the UK average vehicle mass is above the EU average vehicle mass. One of the consequences of adopting the current regime is that the sum of the individual manufacturer targets in the UK will be slightly higher than the sum of the targets in the EU. So, while this may appear to be a loosening of standards, that is incorrect; it simply ensures that manufacturers must apply the same carbon ambition that they currently employ in the UK. Effectively, manufacturers will be able to sell the vehicles that they would otherwise have been able to sell in the UK after the transition period has ended. Noble Lords will note that we did a consultation around the carbon dioxide standards and this mechanism was felt to be the most appropriate, although it was recognised during the consultation that there was an issue.
I turn back very briefly to Northern Ireland and the issue raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, about where NI-registered vehicles would count. They would count towards the manufacturer’s EU totals; NI will all be part of that. So it will not be that they are lost; they will just go into another bucket to be counted. That is what happens when a vehicle ends up in Northern Ireland; it may be manufactured in GB but then goes to Northern Ireland and it is very important that that figure is not counted twice, as it might otherwise have been.
The noble Baroness asked why Northern Ireland was not in the third SI, or why it is not pulled out of it. That is because heavy-duty vehicles are not included in the Northern Ireland protocol and therefore do not need to be dealt with in the same way that we are dealing with cars and vans. The UK-wide totals apply, so there will just be a different reporting requirement.
The noble Baroness also asked why the dates had been changed from March to September. I am reliably told that the reporting dates for HDVs have been changed at EU level. The EU legislation has changed, so we are simply transposing what has been changed at the EU level. Why the EU changed it from March to September, I do not know. If the noble Baroness would like a letter, I will send her one—but I am not sure I will be able to shed much light.
The noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, asked who does roadside testing and enforcement. Emissions testing at the annual test is of course carried out by the DVSA for lorries and buses, while for cars and vans the DVSA obviously oversees all the MoT testing centres that we have around the country. The DVSA carries out a visual assessment of the emissions control system and visible exhaust smoke at roadside inspections but does not yet have emissions-testing equipment to measure emissions or smoke at roadside checks—although it does for the annual test. The DVSA is looking at trialling some new equipment that would be able to look at that in more detail, and we will have more on that soon.
On the number of spot checks that the DVSA has made, there were 172,000 checks on vehicles and drivers last year. I am not 100% sure about the arrangements for vehicles registered in the EU; I presume that they can be fined pretty much as well as anyone else can, but I will write to the noble Lord on that.
A number of noble Lords asked what we are going to do after the end of the transition period. While that goes slightly beyond the scope of the SI today, it is worth noting that we have great ambitions for our future UK carbon emissions regulation. As noble Lords will know, we have consulted on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans by 2035, or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible. The results of that consultation are coming in due course.
The matter of regulation and EU standards is very important. It is also something that troubles me greatly in terms of global standards. Vehicle standards are increasingly harmonised now at a global level—for example, through the UN and UNECE. The UK plays an active and leading role in UNECE and will continue to do so, so the majority of EU regulations actually arrive at the EU from a UN process that the UK is very involved in. So any changes to the regulatory regime would consider the views of and implications for all manufacturers and other interested parties, as well as having the UK regulations interact with the EU regulations and indeed the UN regulatory regimes.
Currently, carbon dioxide emissions are measured in the same laboratory test that is used to measure pollutant emissions—nitrogen oxides and particulates—and there are no plans to change this.
The noble Lord, Lord Kirkhope, mentioned Euro 6, and, of course, that standard will be retained in UK law after exit.
I was delighted when the noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Moulsecoomb, said that these SIs could not be argued with: I took that as a result. However, she then went on to ask about who was looking after the transport strategy and to whom she could write. I would be very happy to receive letters from the noble Baroness, and I will pass them on to my fellow Ministers, depending on which portfolio she is writing about.
The Government have great ambitions both for reducing air pollution and for increasing the use of electric vehicles. There is an interesting dichotomy that the noble Baroness always comes up, which is about reducing road traffic, as if that in itself has to be a goal. While I agree that congestion in certain places is absolutely terrible and road-space allocation is really important, I am not entirely sure that I would wish just yet to take away an individual’s right to transport themselves from A to B in a non-polluting vehicle.