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Diesel and petrol cars to be banned in the UK from 2040

  • New diesel and petrol vehicles banned from 2040
  • UK government announced clean air bill
  • Onus on local authorities to help clean up 

New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from the year 2040, according to the government’s latest clean air bill, set to tackle air pollution.

Also confirmed is a £255million fund to help councils tackle deal with from diesel vehicles, as part of a £3billion package of spending on air quality. 

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the government would give more than £200m to local authorities to draw up plans to tackle particular roads with high pollution.

Speaking to the BBC’s Today programme, Mr Gove was asked if there could be charges for drivers of certain vehicles; he commented: ‘I don't believe that it is necessary... but we will work with local authorities in order to determine what the best approach is.’

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There has been a raft of announcements from the motoring industry throughout 2017 regarding petrol and diesel, including France moving to ban petrol and diesel cars from 2040, Volvo promising every new car will have an electric motor by 2020, and the electric MINI Oxford being built by BMW by 2019.

Health scares due to diesel emissions have been hot topics in the media lately, reigniting the ongoing debate over whether you should buy a diesel car or stay petrol. But by the looks of it, soon ‘diesel or petrol’ won’t be an option – you’ll be considering hybrid or electric cars only.

Earlier in 2017, the government’s draft clean air bill suggested a diesel scrappage scheme could come into force for owners of older diesel cars. The new clean air bill doesn’t confirm this, although it is expected that ministers will consult on the matter later in the year. 

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Petrol and diesel ban - comment from the RAC

RAC roads policy spokesman Nicholas Lyes said: ‘There is little evidence to suggest that the UK’s energy infrastructure will be ready for the largescale shift to electric vehicles, and it’s vital the energy used to power these vehicles comes from the greenest possible sources. Right now public charging facilities are patchy, there is very little on-street charging in residential areas and unlike filling up a petrol or diesel car, drivers cannot recharge a vehicle in a matter of minutes.

‘The Government has rightly focused on a number of other things that can be done at a local level to improve air quality. Tackling bottlenecks, resequencing traffic lights, replacing speed humps with other safety measures to improve flow, and looking at road design are measures that can be addressed right away. However, local authorities will need significant assistance from the Government to make sure some of these sensible proposals are viable.’

London's new ULEZ

In 2019 London launched a new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in the same area covered by the congestion charge, which requires drivers of polluting cars to pay an extra fee. 

The cost is £12.50 per day, in addition to the Congestion Charge (currently £11.50 per day). 

Do you have to pay the ULEZ charge? 

To find out whether your car qualifies for paying the ULEZ charge, click here for the website.

Find out more about the ULEZ and what it means for you in our handy guide to everything you need to know about the ULEZ.

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