Fuel prices have a serious impact on household budgets and businesses in our area and across the country. It is important to ensure that competition is working, and that falls in the price of oil are reflected in the price we pay at the pump. A review of how to best stabilise fuel pricing would be sensible.
Despite campaigns for a new regulator to monitor and regulate vehicle fuel pricing, the government does not believe that a new regulator is necessary.
In July this year, the government published its Air Quality Plan, which includes proposals for Clean Air Zones and a commitment to end the sale of all conventional petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.
Nearly 40 million people in Britain live in areas with illegal levels of air pollution. It is therefore vital that action is taken to clean up our air and I support the introduction of a Clean Air Act.
Nevertheless, any moves that seek to clean up air pollution in our towns and cities by discouraging the use of the most polluting vehicles must be done in a way that is fair for those who bought their vehicles in good faith, in accordance with the scientific advice at the time. It is disappointing that the government has so far failed to bring forward a scrappage scheme or provide sufficient support for public transport or the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.
It is also concerning that despite promises of investment, very little work has been started. We need long-term investment in strategic roads and to address the neglect of local roads, and I will continue to support these priorities.
I will follow the Chancellor’s announcements in the Autumn Budget very closely.