It is a pleasure to speak under your chairmanship, Mr Chope. I congratulate my hon. Friend Neil Parish on securing this important debate. It was fascinating to listen to the speech by Mr Spellar, who set out in pithy terms the policy issues concerned with this matter. I draw attention to my declarations in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. Also, I chair the all-party group for fair fuel.
Pollution is a serious problem, but it is important that we look at the science and the statistics and do not go around the place scaremongering. We must not allow the people who for a long time have not been in favour of cars to find another excuse to attack motorists and to seek to visit extra taxes upon them. So when we look at the serious problem of NOx we need to look at what has happened to pollution over the past decade and beyond, because it is revealing that NOx pollution levels have halved in the past decade. They have gone from 1.6 million tonnes in 2005 to 0.9 million tonnes in 2015.
Particulates are also down. Between 1990 and 2015 the most harmful particulate emissions reduced by 47% in the UK and PM10 fell by 51%. I think we should spend a little less time beating ourselves up and a little more time congratulating ourselves and our nation on the advances we have made. Much has been done, but there is much yet to do, and I want to address what we need to do next.