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According to Department for Transport statistics, 356.5 billion vehicle miles were travelled in the UK in 2019. There are over 38 million motor vehicles using around 247,000 miles of road each year in the UK. A major source of air pollution, motor vehicles contribute to emissions of certain pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide. Road transport accounted for around one fifth of greenhouse gas emissions in 2017; the majority of these are from the use of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Diesel engines also emit significant amounts of particulates, especially respirable particulates (PM10).
UK legislation has therefore targeted emissions from motor vehicles in order to reduce their environmental impacts. Much of this legislation is derived from European Union legislation, and has been largely retained in the UK statue book. This topic describes the impacts of vehicle emissions, and the legislative controls to reduce such emissions.
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