Government expected to announce new diesel scrappage scheme
A new air pollution strategy is to be published on Friday
Despite saying it would not introduce a scrappage scheme for diesel car owners, or indeed that it would not yet unveil its air pollution plans, the Conservative Government is expected to announce measures for reducing vehicle emissions on Friday, according to The Telegraph.
The Conservative administration wanted to keep its air quality proposals close to its chest until after the upcoming General Election, fearing that the plans could affect the way the voting goes on June 8.
However, following a legal battle in the High Court, where the judge ruled in favour of environmental activist ClientEarth, the Government has now had its hand forced and must unveil its plans as a matter of urgency.
ClientEarth argued that the Government had failed to meet the vehicle emissions standards as set out by the European Union and was therefore in breach of EU law. The Department for Environment will not be appealing the High Court’s decision and must therefore publish the air pollution plans by May 9.
The air quality strategy is to be published on Friday (May 5) and is expected to include proposals for a “targeted” diesel scrappage scheme; clean air zones in major English cities and taxes for the worst polluting vehicles.
In addition to the diesel scrappage scheme, the Government will also provide financial assistance for the retrofitting of diesel vehicles to help reduce their nitrogen oxide emissions. It is thought that nitrogen oxide is behind the deaths of 64 people per day in the UK.
A Conservative source told The Telegraph “We will help drivers on modest incomes who bought their diesel vehicles in good faith, having been badly advised by the last Labour Government. We are cleaning up Labour’s mess.”
The Government source also said that while local authorities will be given the power to charge drivers air pollution fees, they will be discouraged from doing so, in favour of air quality solutions which will not tax the everyday motorists.
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