A NORTH-EAST MEP has vowed to ensure electric vehicles are made louder to avoid posing a risk to visually impaired pedestrians.

Fiona Hall said she planned to work with colleagues in the European Parliament to press for minimum noise levels for vehicles.

The Liberal Democrat MEP announced the push for new laws after visiting the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association’s North-East headquarters in Newcastle, where she took part in a blindfolded walkabout with a trainee dog to get a better understanding of the issue.

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Mrs Hall said: "I'm a huge supporter of electric vehicles. They have the potential to bring great economic and environmental benefits to the North-East. But there is real concern about the danger they will pose if they are too quiet.

"Fortunately, the solution is fairly obvious. Minimum noise levels are already mandatory in countries such as Japan and I'll be working with colleagues in the European Parliament to introduce them over here as well.”