Fuel duty in Britain remains frozen at 57.95p per litre for the seventh year running, chancellor Philip Hammond has confirmed during his budget speech to the House of Commons.
Hammond also announced further plans to reduce congestion in urban areas, with £690 million allocated to tackle local traffic "to get transport networks moving again".
He also said money would be allocated to programmes supporting the development of driverless vehicles.
Hammond was expected to launch the UK government's planned diesel scrappage scheme, but it was not mentioned in the budget. The Department for Transport and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was considering offering a cashback payment or money off low-emission vehicles in exchange for buyers’ older, high-polluting diesel vehicles, in a bid to reduce transport pollution.
Instead, Hammond said the government would continue to work at addressing the UK's air quality problem and consider new "tax treatment for diesel vehicles" that may be announced in the Autumn budget.
Mike Hawes, the cheif executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, has been vocal on the subject. He said “The automotive industry is investing significantly in new technology to address the issue of air quality, so we look forward to working with government to encourage the uptake of the latest, low emission vehicles, regardless of fuel type. Nearly one in two new car buyers chose a diesel last year and getting more Euro 6 diesels on the road will be part of the solution as we also strive to meet our climate change targets."