§ Mr. Bob Russell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what action he is taking to encourage bus operators to reduce pollution from diesel fuel emissions; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Glenda Jackson
The Government have introduced a wide range of measures to encourage bus operators to reduce harmful emissions from diesel powered buses. We fully support the heavy diesel Directive agreed by the Council of Ministers in December 1998, which sets far more stringent emission standards for new buses and lorries from 2001. We are also encouraging the early introduction of ultra low sulphur diesel through the use of fuel duty differentials, and the fitting of particulate traps through the new Vehicle Excise Duty concession for low emission buses and lorries. In addition, my Department is funding the Energy Saving Trust's Powershift programme which helps to cover the additional costs of converting vehicles, including buses, to use alternative fuels.