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Wales: Ministerial limos should drive cleaner fuels use - Bates

September 14, 2004 9:48 PM

A new fleet of cars for use by Labour Assembly Government Ministers will not be using green fuel, despite the Assembly's commitment to sustainable development, Welsh Liberal Democrats have learned. The decision has been slammed by Environment spokesman Mick Bates as a missed opportunity to promote green transport.

Despite the Assembly's constitutional obligation to sustainable development Mr Bates, says the Labour government is not doing enough with its ministerial car fleet, or the civil service shuttle bus to make its green words a reality.

Mr Bates said: "The Assembly Government should be setting an example to other institutions and businesses around Wales in its transport decisions. One of the ways it could do this is by switching to LPG to fuel the shuttle bus, and in ministerial cars as they are replaced.

"If the shuttle bus ferrying civil servants between Cardiff Bay and Cathays Park - the Assembly's two main sites in Cardiff - used LPG it would save both money and emissions. Reducing pollution should be a consideration when the contract to run the bus is renewed.

"Similarly the fleet of ministerial cars should also be looking to use cleaner fuels. Buying new cars that run on diesel is a missed opportunity. By choosing LPG, the Assembly Government would have given a boost to a growing sector, reduced emissions and saved money. Instead, based on conservative calculations, it has instead preserved the status quo.

"As in so many areas of government policy, they have seen the problem, but stopped short of the solution. I urge Rhodri Morgan to think again on these contracts and choose the least polluting option." The Assembly Government's comparison of diesel and petrol/LPG biofuel cars assumed a 50:50 mix of petrol and LPG. However, with the distribution of LPG spreading ever wider it is likely that over the lifetime of any new vehicle a considerably higher ratio of LPG would be achieved meaning lower costs and reduced pollution.