London Mayor reiterates call for national diesel scrappage scheme and VED reforms
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has stepped up his calls for a national diesel scrappage scheme to be implemented as he urges the Government to ‘get a grip’ and to stop ‘passing the buck’ on air quality.
Following last week’s successful ClientEarth High Court ruling in which the Mayor of London, was an ‘interested party’, Mr Khan has submitted a letter to the Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom MP, calling for urgent action including:
- A national diesel scrappage scheme – Mr Khan said: “A diesel scrappage scheme is essential if converting to cleaner vehicles is to be made affordable for motorists and businesses. It is only right that the Government provides this help – given that national policy has encouraged the shift to diesel over many years, meaning many people bought polluting vehicles in good faith.”
- Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and other fiscal reforms to make the purchase of diesel cars less attractive.
Mr Khan also called for a new Clean Air Act to ‘drag’ the law into the 21st century and additional powers for London to manage emissions such as pollution from construction sites and river traffic. He added that additional funding for local authorities should also be made available on top of the current £3 million Defra’s air quality grants programme.
Last month saw Mr Khan launch the second phase of his air quality consultation, which sets out detailed proposals for the early introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and its expansion, as well as proposals for an emissions surcharge on older vehicles.
Mr Khan said: ““We need action now to protect Londoners and people all across the UK from breathing in toxic fumes. The Government has been seriously complacent about this health emergency for the last six years and now is the time for them to stop gambling with our health and show real leadership.
“We urgently need a national diesel scrappage scheme and a Clean Air Act fit for the 21st century. We also need real funding prioritised for London – the mediocre funding given to our boroughs is woefully insufficient.
“It is high time the Government took this seriously.”