Action to clean-up London’s air requires “aggressive action” - starting with a crackdown in the capital on diesel cars

London’s motorists have been warned that they face “aggressive action" and that "diesel is being targeted" as Transport For London (TfL) and the Mayor of London set out a strategy to eliminate vehicle emissions by 2050.

The long-term goal of a zero-emissions London is the headline target in Mayor Sadiq Khan’s recently published Transport Strategy, which is open to consultation until October.

Speaking at a Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership in London today, Shirley Rodrigues, deputy mayor for environment and energy, warned that action to clean-up London’s air required “aggressive action”.

“Business as usual is not possible. We want to avoid making the mistakes of the past and we must tackle the challenge together,” she said.

Owners of older diesel cars are already being lined up to be penalised by a new Toxicity Charge, due to be introduced in October. This will penalise drivers of pre-2006 diesels in the centre of London with a new levy on top of the existing congestion charge. “This will be the toughest emission standard of any major city,” claimed Rodrigues.

“We are targeting diesel,” she added, “because 90% of NOx emissions come from road transport.”

However, many diesel drivers feel that they bought the vehicles in good faith, with the encouragement of successive governments.

“Government policy to encourage diesel is regrettable,” she admitted.

Looking forward more than 30 years to 2050, Rodrigues said: “For all vehicles that remain, we will take London’s entire road transport fleet to zero-carbon emissions by 2050.”

The 2050 date aligns with central government targets that all new vehicles should be zero-emissions by 2050.

TfL has juggled it budgets to create an £807 million transport fund, largely to clean-up the bus fleet and also retrofit NOx filters to older buses, although some sources suggest that retrofitted NOx filters struggle to operate effectively when operating temperatures rise in stop-start traffic.

TfL says that from next year it will only buy hybrid double-decker buses and that from 2037 it plans a zero-emissions bus fleet.

This year is the last in which diesel taxis can be registered in London. From next year, a new fleet of British-built range-extender EVs will start replacing traditional black cabs.

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Comments
27

27 June 2017
He should target pre Euro 6 diesel and pre Euro 5 petrol.
At Euro 6 petrol and diesel emissions are virtually the same apart from petrol is allowed to produce 100% more CO2.

27 June 2017
That's pretty much most diesels cars older than 3 years isn't it, tough on the poorest!
Euro 6 Diesel are actually allowed to produce about 35% more NOx

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

28 June 2017
New diesels are not a problem. They are far cleaner than petrol. Politicians need to get up to date with the technology

 

 
 
 

27 June 2017
Is not synonymous with being clean, it is just the latest standard. Euro 6 diesels are not clean, they are just cleaner than earlier models. In years to come Euro 6 will be considered primitive and damaging. Get them gone.

27 June 2017
Perhaps we should be asking what was Khan's stance on diesel vehicles when he was Minister of State for Transport? I think we may find he was encouraging people to buy them.

289

27 June 2017
Excellent point Smoking Coal.
All very well for Khan to play the clever sod now, but he was a part of the problem when the Government refused to listen to all the expert advice - which actually the man in the street could understand. And pushed ahead with their Diesel plans.
They should all hang their heads in shame and apologise to the electorate for their rank stupidity at the very least, (show some humility), but in reality should be barred from any important decision making for the rest of their working lives.

27 June 2017
He was, but he's a politician, which means he is only interested in Khan. Public service, or 'the greater good' does not come into it. Any one who thinks politicians care passionately about their chosen brief is missing the point. No explanation of what happens to taxis, buses, HGVs. Just cars. And spot this one : 90% pollution comes from road transport. Utter, utter nonsense, a figure pulled from the air, but it takes a politician to say it.

jer

27 June 2017
I remember years ago being confused why the US focused on no2 and we were co2 the consensus was that climate change was more important. Now it's the opposite because we've realised diesels perform much worse in the real world after diesel gate?

27 June 2017
encouraged us to buy diesel, now a Labour London Mayor is introducing draconian taxes on them, party of the working class may backside, perhaps some of the £807m TFL budget should be used to compensate owners for following government advice.

27 June 2017
I don't know where you come from Rodriguez, but diesel has been a feature on London's road since before WW2. I think you are a tad late.

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