Sadiq Khan calls for a new scrappage scheme to remove the dirtiest diesel cars from the roads in order to combat emissions
4 November 2016

A High Court ruling has found the UK government has broken the law by not addressing illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in London.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan welcomed the ruling and called for a new scrappage scheme to remove the dirtiest diesel-powered vehicles from the UK’s roads.

Khan said: "We need a revised package of measures to include funding a national diesel scrappage scheme. The most polluting cars, vans and other vehicles must be removed from our roads. A new approach to vehicle excise duty is also needed to incentivise drivers to buy the cleanest vehicles."

The London Mayor acknowledged other sources of NO2 had to be dealt with, such as from the construction industry. He pointed out that in 2010 NO2 pollution was responsible for 9400 deaths in the capital due to pollution-related illnesses.

Talking about the ruling, Mr Khan added: "It lays the blame squarely at the door of the government for its complacency in failing to tackle the problem quickly and credibly. In doing so, it has let down millions of people in the UK."

A further part of the London’s Mayor’s proposals include introducing an emissions surcharge, called the T-charge, for vehicles that fail to meet the required standard. Mr Khan also wants to extend the capital's Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2019, a year earlier than currently proposed, to the area within boundary of the North and South Circular ring roads.

The High Court action was brought against the government by environmental group ClientEarth. As a result, new measures will have to be put in place to reduce the levels of NO2.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) spokesman said: "Improving air quality is a priority for this qovernment and we are determined to cut harmful emissions. Our plans have always followed the best available evidence. We have always been clear that we are ready to update them if necessary and have been at the forefront of action in Europe to secure more accurate, real-world emissions testing for diesel cars.

"While our huge investment in green transport initiatives and plans to introduce Clean Air Zones around the country will help tackle this problem, we accept the court’s judgment."

ClientEarth’s chief executive James Thornton said: "We are delighted at the verdict and that MPs from all parties agree with us that action is needed from the government to clean up this urgent public health crisis. This goes right across government, so the Prime Minister must take personal control to deal with illegal levels of pollution and prevent thousands of additional early deaths in the UK."

Alisdair Suttie

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Comments
14

4 November 2016
What a stupid waste of perfectly good cars, scrappage schemes should be outlawed and replaced with schemes to retro fit emissions equipment.

4 November 2016
typos1 wrote:

What a stupid waste of perfectly good cars, scrappage schemes should be outlawed and replaced with schemes to retro fit emissions equipment.

Given the struggles VW are having in fixing relatively recent models, how easy do you think it would be to retrofit equipment to a 10 year old diesel?

4 November 2016
scrap wrote:
typos1 wrote:

What a stupid waste of perfectly good cars, scrappage schemes should be outlawed and replaced with schemes to retro fit emissions equipment.

Given the struggles VW are having in fixing relatively recent models, how easy do you think it would be to retrofit equipment to a 10 year old diesel?

Also likely to cost so much the cars would end up being scrapped anyway.

Citroëniste.

8 November 2016
These polluting cars should never have been built. Crush them and use them to fill up VW's delivery centre tower in Wolfsburg.

4 November 2016
I don't think you can claim they're perfectly good cars if they're contributing to 10,000 deaths a year, but it's an interesting argument to put £2k into retrofitted equipment rather than new cars. I guess the finances don't add up as the government will get the £2k fee back and some in VAT from the new car sale.

4 November 2016
Maybe the London Mayor isn't aware that we already have one, beginning next April. Perversely the new system treats all cars the same except zero emission ones and ones costing over £40k. So from a VED perspective, there will be no incentive to buy a low CO2 model.

4 November 2016
What the new VED will hopefully bring is more petrol cars.

If people have a choice of a diesel or petrol - diesel is 30 quid a year tax, petrol 285 quid they choose the diesel. Even if they should be driving a diesel or not - I did the same - although my mileage during week is small I do motorway at weekends etc so dpf gets a clear out - but would happily move back to petrol as I do 10k miles a year (2k miles around europe every year)

4 November 2016
".. to the area within boundary of the North and South Circular ring roads" this has the added benefit for the wealthiest in that they can move around easier as it keeps the poorest off the roads. Hooray for the establishment!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

4 November 2016
Firstly, where's the mention of the thousands of stinking taxis?

Secondly, some great solutions (such as the CNG-powered VW Caddy & Passat) have been around in Europe for years, running on domestic gas (or cleaned-up biogas from landfill waste) and hardly any more polluting than the flue from your central heating / hot water boiler at home.

Almost non-existent particulate emissions, yet a suggestion that such vehicles be C-charge exempt fell on deaf ears with TfL, therefore no incentive for buyers, hence no incentive for manufacturers to bring them to the UK.

4 November 2016
It always annoys me when cars of a certain age are targeted, irrespective of how many miles they actually do. The Uber Prius will chuck out far more CO2 and NOx in a year than my low mileage Focus.

And what are the worst cars for NOx? Are we going by the "official" tests as the VW scandal shows that they aren't at all accurate indicators?

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