Contractors this week hit back at claims from environmental technology companies that all UK construction plant must be fitted with diesel particulate filters (DPFs) to cut emissions.
Trade body the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has written to transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick urging him to introduce the measure.
It claims the measure would cut UK diesel emissions by 18%.
But contractors have rubbished the idea. The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), said that UK construction plant contributes just 0.25% to total diesel emissions.
CECA technical and environmental officer John Wilson said fitting filters will cost up to £12,000 per machine, and warned that this would add to tender costs.
He said diesel emissions from construction plant would fall in any case because of the demands of the European Union Non
Road Mobile Machinery Directive due to come into force in 2011.
“Unnecessarily fitting DPFs will be costly, time consuming and problematic in terms of health and safety,” he said.
“It will increase project construction costs which will ultimately be borne by the client. The most effective way to deal with this issue is through the development of better designed, more fuel efficient engines.”
CECA was backed by the Construction Plant Hire Association (CPHA).
It has written to London mayor Boris Johnson to ask for a relaxation of regulations which say all construction plant for high profile London projects must be fitted with DPFs.