Electric Vehicles and Bicycles

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:38 pm on 9th May 2018.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 5:38 pm, 9th May 2018

I do not have to, but I have been ceded one of those minutes. I am very grateful to my hon. Friend. That will allow me to cover at least a tiny fraction of the many points that enthusiastic colleagues have raised.

I congratulate my hon. Friend on convening this third debate. I doubly congratulate him on adding the vital topic of e-bikes to his original subject. That he has managed to add e-bikes to the subject for the third debate is proof that Parliament can evolve in its thinking. As I said, I congratulate him.

We have had mention of Dutch tulip fields and men in Lycra and a lot of references to sweat. That is a little unsettling, but I will try to make progress either way. I have been very impressed by the lobbying energy, if nothing else, of the e-bike industry in relation to so many of my colleagues, who have the feel of latter-day converts to a new religion. As a man who has been riding a bike for 45 years and riding an e-bike for some years, I am delighted that colleagues have come to the table and I congratulate them. Of course, I invite them to submit any of these newfound revelations and the evidence for them to the cycling and walking safety review, which addresses precisely these issues, including air quality and health effects, in a very holistic way.

The Government want to position the UK as the best place on the planet to develop, manufacture and use zero-emission vehicles. I think that that is perfectly clear from what we have said. It will clean up our air—