I appreciate that fuel prices have a serious impact on household budgets and businesses in Fife and across the country. It is important to ensure that competition is working, and that falls in the price of oil are reflected in the price we pay at the pump. I believe that a review of how to best stabilise fuel pricing would be sensible.
You raise the issue of policy on diesel. In July 2017, the UK Government published its Air Quality Plan, which includes proposals for Clean Air Zones and a commitment to end the sale of all conventional petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. In September 2017, the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government set out that they would aim to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032.
Nearly 40 million people in Britain currently live in areas with illegal levels of air pollution. It is therefore vital that action is taken to clean up our air.
Nevertheless, I believe that any moves that seek to clean up air pollution in our towns and cities by discouraging the use of the most polluting vehicles must be done in a way that is fair for those who bought their vehicles in good faith, in accordance with the scientific advice at the time.
On the issue of investment in roads, I am concerned that despite promises of investment, very little work has been started. We need long-term investment in strategic roads and to address the neglect of local roads, and I will continue to support these priorities.
I will follow the Chancellor’s announcements in the Autumn Budget very closely, and will continue to bear in mind the points you have raised.