Press Release: Government Entirely Responsible for Urban Vehicle Emissions Issues


Why, after over four-and-a-half decades of dramatically declining vehicle emissions (typically having fallen by some 70%; see Fig.1 below ), do we have urban vehicle emissions hotspots that ostensibly require urgent remedial action?

Answer: The emissions hotspots are entirely the fault of successive central and local governments of various political complexions: incompetently enacted transport policy implemented by apparently even more incompetent urban transport planners.

Decades of installing only intermittently-used bus-/ taxi-, and cycle-only lanes, pinch-points, asynchronous traffic-light phasing, speed ramps, 20mph zones, other speed limit reductions and private vehicle lane-subtraction schemes have choked average city-centre traffic speeds down to little over 10mph (16km/h).

At these low traffic speeds, NOx, NO2 and the other vehicle emissions ramp up precipitately to over four times those observed at steady, free-flow speeds of 30mph (50km/h) or above (see Fig.2 below).

So what has been the cumulative effect of some two decades of this ill-conceived, social-engineering-inspired, anti-car, traffic hindering central and local government policy?

Answer: To utterly negate over forty years of improvements in vehicle emissions abatement technology.

Another “triumph” of knee-jerk policy implementation over superior technological solutions.

If politicians are really committed to improving urban air quality – as opposed to merely looking to engineer yet another opportunity to financially exploit hard-pressed drivers, they will implement the five Action Plan Points below.

If you are fed up with being used as local and central government’s tame cash-cow, write to your MP (see: and demand that central and local government’s urban road transport policies be formulated around these key action points:

  1. Firstly, reverse the pernicious traffic gating-, lane-subtraction-, public transport-, and cycle-prioritisation policies that have brought traffic speeds in our major cities down to a staccato mix of stationary and walking pace progress – with consequent completely avoidable adverse emissions and urban air quality effects.
  2. In the short-term, invoke a more targeted pursuit of the worst transport sector polluters; getting the highest emissions (mainly delivery, public transport vehicles and diesel rail transport) remediated or scrapped and replaced.
  3. Convince domestic heating and transport fuel manufacturers to alter their refining processes; further purifying their products, yielding cleaner-burning versions which produce lower concentrations of NO2, NOx, PM2.5s, PM10s and SOx.
  4. If, as is being constantly preached to us, the future is electric, Government must facilitate the development of electric vehicles with an all-weather conditions range of at least 350 to 700 miles, and a recharging time comparable to that required to refill a modern, liquid-fuelled car. To be market-competitive, their performance capabilities will also need to be comparable to those typically achievable by modern petrol and diesel cars.
  5. Government must also provide the infrastructure investment for all UK private dwellings – including apartment blocks – to have the facility to park off-road, and recharge at least two electric vehicles per household resident at that dwelling.AND FINALLY:
  6. Write to the local Council Leader (in whatever is the town or city in which you live) and invite him – and his equally culpable transport “planners” – to stand down forthwith, and give way to scientifically-literate successors who know what they are doing.


  1. Emissions time-series figure reproduced with permission from a Local Transport Today article authored by Mr. P. Dobson (LTT726; 07-20/07/2017, p.20).
  2.  London average traffic speed was recently reported to be 11mph (roughly 18km/h). See e.g.,
  3.  See e.g., “London Exhaust Emissions Study – Developing a test programme and analysis of emissions data from passenger cars in London”, Transport for London.

5 thoughts on “Press Release: Government Entirely Responsible for Urban Vehicle Emissions Issues”

  1. Funny how Friends of the Earth consider it to be spam when I posted on their Facebook page.
    They didn’t like the SMMT diesel facts page either.
    How are you supposed to debate with these peoplem?

  2. Don’t confuse environmentalists (particular emphasis on “mental”) with the facts: their minds are already made up!

  3. Glad to see the ABD are embracing the change to electric vehicles.

    A couple of points if I may. Two off street parking spaces is a fine ambition but you only need one charging point. It is very rare to charge a vehicle every day and most only need charging once a week or so. One charger is more than enough.

    It is not the governments job to increase the range of EV’s, this is down to the technology available to the manufacturers at a given price. As battery prices continue to tumble and capacities increase, the vehicle range will increase. However, it is not really necessary as very, very few journeys and more than 30 miles and the vast majority of people don’t need a 350 mile range as they can refuel the car at leisure whenever they are at home or often at their destination. That’s also why it is not necessary to fill the battery pack in the same time as you can fill a diesel.

    You need to think differently about EV’s in the same way as steam engines had different fuelling and drive cycles to diesel. If you actually calculated the amount of times you needed to travel more than 200 miles without stopping, it would be rare indeed and even then, an EV can recharge in around 40 minutes with todays tech – let alone what is coming in the next few years.

    Finally, todays EV’s have far better performance than the typical petrol or diesel equivalent. They are quicker, quieter, smoother and far cheaper to run.

    If you don’t believe me, go test drive one.

  4. Yes I completely agree, i work in engine emissions sector, and yes engine that are kept at low speeds and low power demand produce more emissions per distance travelled.
    It you look at the emissions legislation emissions below 30% torque and engine speed (via calculations and mapping testing) at slightly more than idle speed are exempted, this is because the engines will not function properly at these low power output demands. Making vehicle brake stop start again and swerve all over the road also add to brake tyre and engine emissions.
    higher road speeds and constant flow are the answer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *