UK Government scheme for scrapping diesel cars

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UK Government scheme for scrapping diesel cars

Drivers in the UK are being urged by their Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling to take a long hard look at their options before buying diesel cars

He made the comments after the UK Government published its latest plans for cutting urban air pollution.

This highlights the real possibility that the UK will soon restrict diesels from being driven in urban areas.

If this happens in the UK, you can almost take it to the bank that the Irish Government will follow suit. The end of diesel powered cars is in sight.

Diesel a major cause of pollution

Diesels are a major source of the toxic pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide and tiny particulates which has been blamed for up to 40,000 premature deaths each year.

Long-term exposure to diesel pollutants are strongly linked to an increased risk of long-term health conditions such as asthma, heart disease and dementia.

Grayling said earlier this month that diesel should be driven out of Britain’s cities. He went on to say:

“There is no doubt that the use of diesel in urban areas is going to have to change . . . we need to see a rapid migration of our car fleet away from diesel in urban areas”.

“We have now learned much more about the health impact of NOx emissions and it’s clearly not an issue we can now ignore.”

“I don’t think diesel is going to disappear but someone who is buying a car to drive around a busy city may think about buying a low-emission vehicle rather than a diesel.”

“It is inevitable over the coming years we’re going to have to really migrate our car fleet, and our vehicle fleet more generally, to cleaner technology.”

One idea under consideration is a scrappage scheme, where vehicle owners are offered a cash payment or other incentive to get rid of older diesels and replace them with petrol-engined vehicles.

If a ban on diesel were to be effective, it would have to include commercial vehicles like buses, trucks and vans as almost all have diesel engines and are a major source of urban pollutants.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has already announced plans to introduce a £10-a-day “toxicity charge” on older, polluting cars entering central London on weekdays from October and has warned that driving diesel vehicles could be banned altogether on certain days to help bring air pollution below legal limits.

The Committee on Climate Change, which advises the government, has said 9 per cent of new car sales should be electric by 2020 for the UK to meet its legal obligation to cut greenhouse gas emissions. At the moment only 3 per cent of new cars are electric.


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