Government Pays £16m For Almost 100 Diesel Vehicles

Sun 22nd Nov 2020

The Department for Transport has revealed that it will be spending millions of pounds on a 93-strong fleet of gritters, which will pump out tonnes of CO2 - flying in the face of the government’s own push to outlaw petrol and diesel engines.

The winter vehicles will add extra firepower to the existing 535 gritters used by Highways England to help clear roads during the worst of the winter weather. But with the announcement coming in the same week that Boris Johnson promised to phase-out the use of diesel HGVs, it seems like confused policy-making by the political powers.

The £16m investment includes 23 snow blowers, capable of removing 2,500 tonnes of snow per hour, but in the images released by the Department for Transport, a 7.7 litre diesel engine could be doing more damage to the environment then it might be saving in the short term. Despite this contradiction, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was pleased to make the announcement. He said: “We have worked tirelessly with the country’s highways teams to make sure our transport networks are kept open and running in whatever weather we encounter.    This year, it is more important than ever that Britain is prepared for the winter as we continue to tackle the pandemic. Through this work, we’ll ensure key routes to COVID-19 test centres remain open in the coming months.”

Jim O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Highways England, said:

“Our winter fleet will be out treating our roads around the clock whenever ice or snow is forecast, but it is still important that drivers plan their journeys, make sure they are prepared for the winter weather and drive safely in all conditions.”