The UK government’s new plan for clean air is looking at getting rid of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040 as well as immediately cleaning out air zones. They aim to change road layouts, retrofit public transportation, as well as scheme people to encourage them to leave their cars at home. Costs will come from changes to tax on diesel vehicles and departmental budgets that will be announced later this year. Charging zones for the most polluting vehicles is also an option if these measures don’t cut emissions enough.
Air pollution is linked to about 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK. Scrapping diesel cars can get people to invest in walking and cycling as well as taking affordable and reliable public transportation to their destinations. Initial plans for this move have been cut from 18 months to 8 months and the government continues to aim for car and van emission on UK roads to be zero by 2050.
Despite these intended plans, the Treasury has rejected them as poor value for money but may be reconsidered in the autumn. For the time being, the government has urged everyone to solve pollution on their own by improving public transportation and considering restrictions on dirty diesel vehicles at peak times.