Gas-powered Vehicles

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:45 pm on 28th January 1991.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Speller Mr Anthony Speller , North Devon 10:45 pm, 28th January 1991

I can only agree with my hon. Friend, and I thank him for his endorsement of the policy that I suggest.

The Government showed great sense in their tax policy on unleaded fuel—which, although it may be more expensive to produce, is cheaper to buy. That was the first good sign. If interests such as British Gas are serious—I believe they are—they will have to develop a countrywide distribution system, though probably starting in London and the south-east. If that is not done, the whole concept will come to naught.

Manufacturers must follow the lead of General Motors and acknowledge the need for clean-fuel cars. Britain and the whole of Europe are now prepared to talk clean motoring as well as just plain motoring.

It would also be good to be independent of oil supplies from the middle east and to lower particulate emissions. Although Britain has its own oil resources, it has even greater gas resources. I ask my hon. Friend the Minister not for cash—which makes a pleasant change these days—but to support such research as may be sought. On the commercial side, it is important for the Government not just to make an appraisal of the possibilities but to level the playing field between the various forms of motor fuel. I believe that gas is the logical fuel of the future. We have it. It should be cheaper. It is certainly cleaner—and it makes good sense to many of us to use it.