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Diesel scrappage scheme may be on the way

In an effort to reduce urban pollution the government is considering a scheme that encourages people to scrap their diesel cars

Words ByClaire Evans

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A scheme to encourage owners of the most polluting diesel-engined cars to trade them in for greener ones is being considered by the government, according to a report by the Telegraph.

Why is the new scheme being considered?

The newspaper stated the Department for Transport and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is looking into the possibility of introducing a scheme that would target areas with the highest levels of pollution.

Apparently the Treasury has agreed to provide funds for the plan, which could be introduced within a couple of months. Just like the UK’s first scrappage scheme introduced in 2009, the diesel one is likely to offer a cashback payment or discount to motorists who trade in highly polluting models for ones with lower emissions.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling highlighted the urgency of tackling the UK’s pollution problem while speaking in the House of Commons. He said: "We have to find the right way to migrate the nature of the cars on our roads and the vehicles on our roads to a point where they cause much less of a pollution problem than they do at the moment."

Mr Grayling’s also reasserted his commitment to increasing the number of electric vehicles on our roads and providing more charging points for them.

How serious is pollution in our cities?

The news broke just days after Westminster Council announced a 50% parking surcharge for diesel vehicles in a bid to reduce the number of them parking in the borough. Its aim is to cut nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, which increase the risk of respiratory problems in humans and are said to increase the risk of cancer.

London is one of the UK’s most polluted cities, with NO2 levels exceeding official limits regularly. When limits were breached earlier this year, the London Mayor advised people to stay indoors and put off exercising until levels dropped.

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