The Government is expected to make the official announcement later this week
To tackle the issue of air pollution in many of England’s cities, the government is expected to introduce a ‘toxin tax’ for drivers of diesel vehicles.
The Government will initially target 35 major cities throughout England, including London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Derby. Personal vehicles and commercial vehicles with a diesel engine will be affected by the new initiative.
In 10 of the worst cities, a £20-per-day toxin tax will be demanded from private and commercial diesel drivers and in some cases a complete ban will be placed on diesel vehicles entering the city centre within peak hours. It is hoped the toxin tax will discourage diesel drivers from driving into the city and thus reduce city pollution.
In a further 25 English cities and towns, a ban will be placed on commercial vehicles, including coaches, lorries and taxis, during specific hours.
It is thought that newer diesel vehicles, manufactured after September 2015, will be exempt from the pollution tax and ban. However, the new initiative will become clearer later this week, when Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom is expected to announce the new measures, according to The Times.
According to the Head of Environment and Energy at Policy Exchange, Richard Howard, many major cities in England are heading into an ‘air pollution crisis’ which is exposing the public ‘to illegal and unhealthy levels of NO2’.
It is estimated that around 40,000 people die each year as a direct result of air pollution, a modern issue which is costing the British economy an estimated £27.5 billion per year.
Nitrogen dioxide emissions from diesel vehicles can reach up to four times the level produced by petrol vehicles, which is why the English Government is seemingly targeting the drivers of diesel cars.
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