Diesel ban? Clean Air Zone expansion could see diesel cars charged to enter UK cities

Diesel drivers in towns and cities across England could be hit with a toxins tax or a diesel ban in city centres. A consultation document published by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs has proposed an expansion of Clean Air Zones around the UK that could charge more polluting vehicles a daily entry fee.

The consultation document indicates that diesel vehicles below the Euro 6 Emissions Standard could be in line for a ban on entering the new Clean Air Zones unless a charge is paid, while petrol models below the Euro 4 standard would face the same levy.

Other mesures have been proposed in the consultation, including a rise in VED road tax for diesel cars in the Autumn 2017 budget, but the document shifts responsibility for key measures like a diesel scrappage scheme, retrofitting of emissions control technology to older vehicles and the Clean Air Zone expansion onto local authorities. It says that the Government would offer support but schemes should be implemented at a local level.

Diesel drivers in London will face new penalties in the future. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is expected to announce that from 2019 the most polluting vehicles will be hit with the £12.50 ‘T-charge’ when entering any part of Greater London, inside the North Circular and South Circular roads. Currently, the newly introduced T-charge, which will come in from 23 October 2017, applies in the same area as the existing Congestion Charge.

Diesel Ban In London And Other Cities?

The prevailing consensus that diesel emissions are bad for health has led to many cities looking to ban them from their centres. The mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens have said they’re looking to ban diesel cars from their centres by 2025.

Khan’s plans to reduce pollution levels in the city also include expanding and expediting the Ultra Low Emissions Zone, as well as a faster roll-out of low-emissions double-decker buses.

The London mayor is proposing to introduce the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone a year earlier than planned in 2019, and extend it beyond central London from 2020 onwards to the North and South Circular. Cars, vans, lorries and buses which fail to meet the emissions criteria would be charged from £12.50 upwards.