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New diesel and petrol vehicles to be banned from 2040 in UK

New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution, the government is set to announce.

New diesel and petrol vehicles to be banned from 2040 in UK
26.07.2017
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New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution, the government is set to announce.

Ministers will also unveil a £255m fund to help councils tackle emissions from diesel vehicles, as part of a £3bn package of spending on air quality.

The government will later publish its clean air strategy, favouring electric cars, before a High Court deadline.

Campaigners said the measures were promising, but more detail was needed.

They had wanted government-funded and mandated clean air zones, with charges for the most-polluting vehicles to enter areas with high pollution, included in the plans.

After a protracted legal battle, the government was ordered by the courts to produce new plans to tackle illegal levels of harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide.

Judges agreed with environmental campaigners that previous plans were insufficient to meet EU pollution limits.

Ministers had to set out their draft clean air strategy plans in May, with the final measures due by 31 July.

Charging plans?

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the government would give more than £200m to local authorities to draw up plans to tackle particular roads with high pollution.

“What we’re saying to local authorities is come up with an imaginative solution to these proposals,” he told the Today programme.

Asked if there could be charges for drivers of certain vehicles he said: “I don’t believe that it is necessary to bring in charging, but we will work with local authorities in order to determine what the best approach is.”

Industry interests

Local measures could include altering buses and other transport to make them cleaner, changing road layouts, altering features such as speed humps, and re-programming traffic lights to make vehicle-flow smoother.

It is thought ministers will consult on a scrappage scheme later this year, but there is no firm commitment.

Ministers have been wary of being seen to “punish” drivers of diesel cars, who, they argue, bought the vehicles after being encouraged to by the last Labour government because they produced lower carbon emissions.

The industry trade body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said it was important to avoid outright bans on diesels, which would hurt the sector.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Currently demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles is growing but still at a very low level

“The industry instead wants a positive approach which gives consumers incentives to purchase these cars. We could undermine the UK’s successful automotive sector if we don’t allow enough time for the industry to adjust.”

The UK announcement comes amid signs of an accelerating shift towards electric cars instead of petrol and diesel ones, both at home and abroad:

(BBCNEWS

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