The Government’s Clean Air plans, published recently, which include a headline grabbing pledge to ban diesel engines in new cars by 2040, also require a number of local authorities to produce their own local plans, which could include road charging for diesel vehicles.
The plan identifies, unsurprisingly, a number of roads in West London where NO2 levels breach legal levels, including large parts of the A4/M4, and A40/M40, almost all of the North Circular, as well as the Hayes bypass, and roads in Southall, and Greenford.
Critics of the plan variously say it doesn’t go far enough or fast enough, and that it abdicates a national responsibility, pushing the work and cost on to local administrations.
The Mayor of London was one of those who crticised the time schedule. Sadiq Khan, said: “The commitment to phase out sales of new diesel cars is welcome, but Londoners suffering right now simply can’t afford to wait until 2040. We need a fully-funded diesel scrappage fund now to get polluting vehicles off our streets immediately, as well as new powers so that cities across the UK can take the action needed to clean up our air.
“Without extra financial support for those who bought polluting vehicles in good faith then any pledge to clean up our air rings hollow.
“I’m doing all I can in London, but we need help from the Government. The health of millions of people across the UK is dependent on the Government showing more ambition in tackling one of the most pressing issues of our time.”