London Mayor Sadiq Khan slams 'toothless' air pollution plan
London Mayor Sadiq Khan slams 'toothless' air pollution plan
GETTYDiesel drivers across the UK could be forced to replace their vehicle with a low emissions one
07 May, 2017, 13:23
The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs published its Draft Air Quality Plan for tackling illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide.
The strategy is instead focusing on Clean Air Zones which, according to the technical report, could deliver more than £1bn in net value.
This revised scheme could target Euro 1-5 diesel cars and Euro 1-3 petrol cars, but would be open to all drivers of such vehicles, as opposed to only those living in areas with particularly high levels of pollution. Vehicle manufacturers have an important part to play within the framework of the quality of air, according to the United Kingdom government.
Announcing the publication of the plan today, Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom described it as a "common sense way" to improve air quality and build "a stronger and cleaner economy".
The DEFRA plan also calls on local authorities to implement "clean air zones" and develop measures "to achieve compliance within the shortest time possible". It is also suggesting that older vehicles are retrofitted with emission-reducing technology to be able to access the clean air zones free of charge.
Non-charging clean air zones should involve "engaging and informing the community to ensure they understand the importance of good air quality, the choices available to them, the impacts they make and how these contribute to a successful zone", said the framework.
The government of the United Kingdom (U.K.) has, finally, after much rebuke from European Union institutions has finally drafted a strategy for the improvement of air quality.
The consultation says that charging the dirtiest vehicles to enter these areas, as London is planning, is the most effective way to improve air quality.
"It appears the Government has abdicated responsibility for reducing air pollution to local authorities".
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The most radical measure being considered is what's termed a "targeted" auto scrappage scheme.
Last night, Fair-Fuel UK founder Howard Cox blasted the plans accusing the Government of "betraying hard-working families, white van drivers and small businesses".
"The Green Party's air pollution plan would tackle this emergency, and force auto companies to pay their way for the damage they have done to people's health".
Reacting to the government's plan, Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport, said: "While we welcome the government's long awaited plan, its proposals on transport are wholly inadequate in tackling the unsafe levels of pollution across our most polluted cities".
The government breaks down clean air zones into two categories in the plan: non-charging clean air zones and charging clean air zones.
It also promises that the Treasury will "explore the appropriate tax treatment for diesel vehicles" within 12 months and update government procurement policy to better tackle air pollution within the same timeframe. The application was rejected by the courts, but not before critics accused the Government of running scared from a crack down on heavily-polluting diesel cars.
Stephen Joseph, chief executive at the Campaign for Better Transport, said: 'While we welcome the government's long awaited plan, its proposals on transport are wholly inadequate in tackling the unsafe levels of pollution across our most polluted cities.
The consultation is due to close on June 15, with results not expected until July 31.
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Google to pay Italy €306 million in tax arrears
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