Bri­tain on road to ban fuel cars

Townsville Bulletin - - WORLD -

BRI­TAIN will ban the sale of petrol and diesel- fu­elled cars from 2040 when all ve­hi­cles must be fully elec­tric as part of a plan to clean up air pol­lu­tion.

The move will end the near 150- year reign of the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine in Bri­tain.

The crack­down could also see the in­tro­duc­tion of levies on busy roads for own­ers of the most pol­lut­ing ve­hi­cles.

The re­ported move fol­lows a sim­i­lar an­nounce­ment ear­lier this month by the French gov­ern­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to The Times, the sale of new hy­brid ve­hi­cles that have an elec­tric mo­tor com­bined with a petrol or diesel en­gine would also end un­der the plan.

The move has been forced upon the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment af­ter it lost a High Court case on air pol­lu­tion.

From about 2020, lo­cal coun­cils will be al­lowed to levy ex­tra charges on diesel driv­ers us­ing the UK’s 81 most pol­luted routes if air qual­ity fails to im­prove. Diesels might even be banned at peak times.

Judges ruled the Gov­ern­ment was break­ing the law by al­low­ing con­cen­tra­tions of ni­tro­gen diox­ide to build up in ur­ban ar­eas.

Clien­tEarth, an en­vi­ron­men­tal law or­gan­i­sa­tion, ar­gued suc­cess­fully that min­is­ters were not do­ing enough to tackle the is­sue.

A judge or­dered min­is­ters to un­veil the new air qual­ity strat­egy to cut il­le­gal lev­els of pol­lu­tion from diesel ve­hi­cles by next Mon­day. The Gov­ern­ment also faces fines from the Euro­pean Commission, which has sent Bri­tain a fi­nal warn­ing to com­ply with EU air pol­lu­tion lim­its for ni­tro­gen diox­ide or face a case at the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice.

Ni­tro­gen diox­ide lev­els have been above le­gal lim­its in al­most 90 per cent of ur­ban ar­eas in the UK since 2010.

The toxic fumes are es­ti­mated to cause 23,500 early deaths a year.

New guid­ance to coun­cils sup­ported by a $ 420 mil­lion fund will see them urged to in- tro­duce a range of mea­sures to bring down pol­lu­tion.

These in­clude mak­ing buses greener, chang­ing the phas­ing of traf­fic lights, re­mov­ing speed bumps and chang­ing road lay­outs. Town halls will be told to do all they can to avoid hit­ting diesel driv­ers, who bought the cars in good faith, with puni­tive mea­sures.

Motoring cam­paign­ers last night in­sisted taxes should only be a last re­sort.

Howard Cox, co- founder of Fair Fuel UK said: “With money to im­prove the most congested roads as the first line of im­prov­ing air qual­ity, there’s now no ex­cuse to in­tro­duce Toxic Taxes.”


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