Motorists cold soon be faced with a number of restrictions and levies imposed on them as part of the Government’s new air quality plans.
The Government recently announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2040.
This echoes a similar announcement from France earlier this month.
The latest legislation is designed to slash dangerous levels of air pollution in the UK.
A number of toxin taxes on the most polluting “dirty” vehicles are also expected to be announced, with many rumoured to come into force by 2020.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan unveiled his new toxic “T-Charge”, which will be introduced in October this year.
This levy will be applicable to drivers of “dirty” diesels travelling in the congestion zone, with motorists expected to pay a £10 surcharge on top of the congestion charge to use these zones.
It is believed this initiative will hit around 10,000 diesel cars in the capital.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The UK government’s ambition for all new cars and vans to be zero emission by 2040 is already known.
“Industry is working with government to ensure that the right consumer incentives, policies, and infrastructure is in place to drive growth in the still very early market for ULEVs in the UK.
“However, much depends on the cost of these new technologies and how willing consumers are to adopt battery, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen cars.
“Currently demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles is growing but still at a very low level as consumer have concern over affordability, range and charging points.
“Outright bans risk undermining the current market for new cars and our sector which supports over 800,000 jobs across the UK so the industry instead wants a positive approach which gives consumers incentives to purchase these cars.
“We could undermine the UK’s successful automotive sector if we don’t allow enough time for the industry to adjust.”
Government has announced a ban of diesel and petrol car sales by 2040
Current air pollution levels in the UK at a dangerous high. Many are pointing the blame towards cars, vehicles and motorists – with specific attention on diesel drivers.
Our plan to deal with dirty diesels will help councils clean up emissions hotspots
There are currently more than 10 million diesel cars on the road in Britain. It has been discovered that diesel-powered vehicles produce more nitrogen oxides than petrol equivalents.
In addition to this, the Volkswagen emissions scandal back in 2015 has sparked a discussion about the dangerous impacts NOX has on humans.
The Government is also believed to have had discussions about the introduction of a “targeted” diesel scrappage scheme.
This would offer drivers of older, more polluting diesel cars up to £2,000 compensation to help them switch their car to a low-emissions equivalent.
Under the proposal, filters would also be offered to drivers to help reduce the amount of emissions produced.
However, plans for this initiative have been pushed back until the Autumn, when there will be a consultation.
But diesel drivers have been outraged by the purported proposal, since many were actively encouraged to buy these vehicles under Tony Blair’s Labour government.
Prime Minister Theresa May has stated that this would be taken “into account” and that diesel motorists would not be punished.
48 of the most polluting roads in the UK are in London
Environment Minister Michael Gove is expected to issue a warning to local authorities against “unfairly penalising” diesel drivers by introducing restrictions and pollution taxes on diesel motorists.
Gove is expected to reduce the breath of the scheme to target on the most polluting roads.
A new analysis has found the 48 of the most polluting roads are in London.
The majority of the other most polluting roads are found in some of the biggest cities in the country including Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Nottingham, Southampton, Bristol, Bolton, Manchester, Bury, Newcastle, Coventry, Sheffield, Belfast, Cardiff and Middlesborough.
These hotspots are predominantly found on A-roads but there are also sections of two major motorways considered to be a problem – the M4 near London and the M32 in Bristol.
New initiatives being introduced are also to be “time limited” and lifted when air pollution falls within the legal limits.
A Government spokesman said: “Our plan to deal with dirty diesels will help councils clean up emissions hotspots – often a single road – through common sense measures which do not unfairly penalise ordinary working people.
“Diesel drivers are not to blame and to help them switch to cleaner vehicles the government will consult on a targeted scrappage scheme – one of a number of measures to support motorists affected by local plans.
“Overall we are investing £3bn to tackle the effects of roadside pollution and supporting greener transport initiatives.”
Other measures that local councils could introduce is the removal of speed bumps in the road, which are believed to reduce the amount of emissions produced by improving traffic flow.
Speed humps can double the amount of dangerous toxins a car emits, some research has shown.
Traffic lights could also be sequenced better to further improve traffic flow and reduce the amount of time cars are spent idling in queues.
Councils will also receive an extra cash injection of £255million to help councils introduce new schemes.
There will also be emphasis on improving the infrastructure to allow more electric cars on the road and support motorists who buy one.
Current developments in the electric car industry include the testing of rapid charging car batteries and wireless charging roads, but there is still some way to go before these things are consumer ready.