Whilst the Government’s Air Quality Strategy, which was released on the 5th May, highlighted the fact that diesel cars were the main contributor to nitrogen dioxide in the air, it didn’t go so far as to lay out any firm plans with regards to the implementation of the rumoured Diesel scrappage scheme.
The Air Quality plan acknowledged that tackling poor air quality in all its forms was a government priority and the scrappage scheme did feature in a consultation questionnaire which asked whether a “targeted scrappage schemes” could be an option to improve air quality in towns and cities.
The idea of the scrappage scheme came about after concerns were aired about air pollution by then London Mayor, Boris Johnson back in 2014. The baton has now been picked up by current Mayor, Sadiq khan who has submitted a report to the government showing how the scheme could work.
Under the Labour Government, motorists were encouraged to buy diesel cars amid concerns about carbon emissions. However since then it has emerged that diesel cars actually emit four times the amount of nitrogen dioxide which is potentially life threatening to humans and has been named as being a major factor in the risk of strokes, heart attacks and asthma attacks. The number of diesel cars on UK roads has risen from 3.2 million in 2000 to over 11 million today.
A member of the conservative party has said about the scrappage scheme “We will help drivers on modest incomes who bought their diesel vehicles in good faith, having been badly advised by the last Labour Government. We are cleaning up Labour’s mess.”
The proposed diesel scrappage scheme would see drivers receive compensation in exchange for scrapping their highly polluting vehicles or “retrofit” them with filters in a bid to reduce harmful emissions.
In spite of the government’s cleaner air guidelines set out in the paper, released at the beginning of May, London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has commented, saying they are “woefully inadequate” and warned that they would still leave Britain with polluted air for at least another decade.