The government should consider a diesel scrappage scheme to tackle harmful pollution from cars.
That’s the suggestion from the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in response to Department of Food and Environmental Affairs’ (DEFRA) consultation on air quality.
It also stated the Tory administration should ensure changes to the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) announced earlier this year should encourage drivers to move away from polluting diesel vehicles.
As part of the summer budget Chancellor George Osborne announced all new cars will be classed under zero emission standard and premium.
The EAC also welcomed the government’s proposal to create a national framework of Clean Air Zones.
However, it warns the power for individual Local Authorities to decide the access rules for particular vehicles could confuse drivers.
Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Huw Irranca-Davies MP said: “Tens of thousands of premature deaths are being caused in the UK every year by illegal levels of air pollution on our roads. Despite mounting evidence of the damage diesel fumes do to human health, changes to Vehicle Excise Duty announced in this year’s Budget maintained the focus only on CO2 emissions. This was a missed opportunity to also incentivise vehicles which emit less NO2.
“The Chancellor has the chance to strike a better balance on this next week. The Treasury must use Vehicle Excise Duty to create long term incentives for drivers to buy cleaner hybrid and electric cars that minimise both CO2 and harmful pollutants. Introducing a national diesel scrappage scheme could also provide a short-cut to cleaning up the air in our cities.”