15 June 2017
On National Clean Air Day the Government closes its consultation on tackling air quality across the UK, and three quarters (75%) of AA members say they'd like to see a diesel scrappage scheme.
In our submission to the consultation, we stressed the need for a portfolio of options to address the issue of pollution in our cities. These include:
- More investment in public transport and park and ride hubs
- Improvements to local roads to tackle congestion and pollution hot spots at junctions
- Re-examining the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) introduced in April 2017 which now doesn't incentivise the purchase of vehicles with lower CO2 emissions,
- Continued investment in electric vehicle charging points
Air quality matters to AA members
Edmund King, AA president, says "Our members are clear that air quality matters to them, with eight out of 10 agreeing that it's an important issue.
drivers won't be happy if they're punished financially for past car-purchasing decisions made in good faith
"But drivers won't be happy if they're punished financially for past car-purchasing decisions made in good faith.
"There has been speculation about introducing more clean air charging zones across the country, similar to the London Low Emission Zone and the ‘toxicity’ charge being added to the congestion charge, but we’re pleased to see that the Government’s consultation makes it clear that such schemes must be a policy of last resort rather than introduced by default."
Money making schemes
A majority (three fifths) of drivers view charging zones as money-making projects, so it’s important that any council introducing a charging zone can first demonstrate that all other effective policy measures have been considered and implemented.
There's no silver bullet to tackle urban air pollution and local authorities will have to consider a range of policy options
King continues: "There's no silver bullet to tackle urban air pollution and local authorities will have to consider a range of policy options.
"Vehicle exhausts are clearly a significant contributor to the problem but, in some cities, shipping, rail and air traffic all contribute significantly too.
“We can all make an individual contribution and the message of National Clean Air Day – avoid harmful pollution and reduce the amount of pollution you create – will hopefully encourage more drivers, and home owners to act.”