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£25m ‘scrap for cash’ vehicle scheme opens in London

A £25m vehicle scrappage scheme has opened today for low-income and disabled Londoners – joining the existing £23m van scheme.


Westminster Bridge at sunset, London, UK

Sadiq Khan has reiterated calls for a national scrappage scheme fund to tackle emissions

First proposed in February this year, the scheme has been introduced following April’s introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and provides motorists with up to £2,000 funding direct from City Hall for scrapping an older, more polluting car or motorcycle.

It runs alongside the £23m van scheme that was announced last September, which targets micro businesses, sole traders and charity owners who want to scrap older vans, and comes as the Mayor renews his calls for a national scrappage scheme fund to tackle emissions.

As well as being able to apply for funds for scrapping applicable cars or motorcycles, eligible applicants will be able to take advantage of a number of other offers and benefits such as one year’s free membership of Santander Cycles for all journeys up to 30 minutes.

Responding to the scrappage scheme announcement, Silviya Barrett, research manager at Centre for London said: “If we’re really going to reduce car use, then the grant should also be available in the form of mobility credits to spend on public transport, car clubs and taxi services too.

“While evidence shows the ULEZ is effective at reducing NO2, it is not reducing the finer PM2.5 particles that all vehicles, including fully electric ones, produce from tyre and road wear. These fine particles are some of the most threatening to Londoners’ health. To really tackle London’s toxic air, we need to move towards fewer cars, not just cleaner cars on our roads.

“That is why the Mayor should look to introduce a road user charging scheme that charges people on a per mile basis, depending on their vehicle’s contribution to local congestion and pollution.”

The Mayor has announced the new scheme as, together with the cities network UK100, he hosted an International Air Quality summit at City Hall, bringing together city leaders, environmentalists and businesses to call on the Government immediately to amend the draft Environment Bill to adopt the WHO PM2.5 target of 2030, and give UK cities the powers and funding to make this happen.

Sadiq Khan said: “We need government ministers to follow London’s lead and help clean our filthy air once and for all, by toughening up targets to meet the WHO air quality guidelines by 2030 and supporting a national vehicle renewal fund that will help all UK motorists to ditch their polluting cars.”

A new report – published by City Hall to coincide with today’s International Clean Air Summit – shows London can meet the World Health Organization guidelines for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by 2030 provided the Mayor is given additional powers and measures to tackle non-transport sources.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.