For just a “fraction” of what it spends on the development of methane as an alternative fuel, the government could “really move things forward” in reducing emissions, the RHA has said.

The association’s director of policy Jack Semple (pictured) criticised the government’s spending of £25m on developing methane to fuel HGVs at the Freight in the City Expo this week.

He told delegates: “The government has already spent £25m on the idea of methane. We’ve got a lot of questions. What is the payback? And if we’re going to use it as a transport fuel, why put it in trucks when buses do eight times as many miles?"

Semple asked why the government paid nothing towards the implementation of technology such as telematics, which is proven to reduced emissions, and added that methane slip (the incomplete combustion of methane in the engine – is actually more damaging than Co2 in terms of climate change.

He said: “For a fraction of what the government has committed to methane in the last few years, we could really move things forward. So it’s good to innovate. But are we innovating in the right direction?”