The government has published its final revised UK Air Quality Plan, announcing that petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned by 2040. The government has announced a £255m fund to help tackle emissions from diesel vehicles, but falls short of introducing charges for polluting vehicles in Clean Air Zones.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said:
“Government intervention to tackle the appalling air quality in our towns and cities is long overdue, but this plan stops short of meaningful action that will immediately address this public health crisis. We can’t afford to kick the can down the road to 2040 – there are already 38 local authorities where people are breathing air which exceeds legal NOx limits.
“The commitment to bus retrofitting is encouraging, with recent Greener Journeys research showing that retrofitting is 15 times more cost-effective per kilogram of NOx saved than a car diesel scrappage scheme. However, unless we tackle congestion, this won’t solve the air pollution crisis.
“Penalty charges are the only effective way of keeping drivers away from city centres and encouraging them to switch to more sustainable alternatives such as bus, bike or train.
“The latest Euro VI diesel buses are incredibly clean and produce fewer emissions overall than a Euro 6 diesel car, and ten times fewer on a per passenger basis. Instead of waiting until 2040, we could begin improving air quality now if the Government is prepared to get tough and address the root cause of the problem, which is the number of diesel cars and vans on the road.”
Notes to editors
For further information
Greener Journeys Press Office
firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)20 3128 8555
For a copy of the report please contact email@example.com
About Greener Journeys:
Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices. It is a coalition of the UK’s leading public transport organizations, user groups and supporters. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from transport by encouraging people to switch some of their car journeys to bus or coach instead. Switching from car to bus for just one journey a month would mean one billion fewer car journeys on our roads and would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year. For more information visit www.greenerjourneys.com