Diesel ban will cost you £36m... but car drivers won’t get scrappage cash
BANNING diesel cars from Scotland’s biggest city would cost taxpayers up to £36 million, analysis has shown.
But that does not include any commitment on a scrappage scheme to compensate car or van drivers – even though there is one for buses.
The Scottish Government plans to ban diesel vehicles in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee – then extend it to 38 towns and villages.
Newly published research by Jacobs Consultancy for Transport Scotland indicates the potential cost. It said establishing and operating the scheme in Glasgow city centre, and providing a scrappage scheme or retrofits for buses affected, would cost up to £35.9 million over ten years.
This figure could fall depending on the size of the scheme, or if discounts can be secured. But it means the Scotland-wide bill could pass £100 million over a decade.
The report said costs will include: design; implementation, including buying cameras and signs; running costs, including staffing and air quality monitoring; and a scrappage scheme for buses.
Companies could receive up to £30,000 to scrap each old diesel bus, or be given up to £15,000 to convert them to a more environmentally friendly power source.
But there is no money put aside for car drivers.
The report said: ‘Grant costs were not extended to other parts of the vehicle fleet as hypothetical test results for Glasgow identified limited success in targeting sections of the fleet, such as HGVs.’
That will infuriate motorists, many of whom bought diesel cars after being told they were better for the environment than petrol vehicles.
The bans are likely to affect all but the newest and cleanest diesel cars, and some particularly old and polluting petrol models. The Institute of Advanced Motorists has estimated 738,000 diesels and 244,000 petrol vehicles will be affected in Scotland.
Neil Greig of the Institute of Advanced Motorists said: ‘If they are putting aside money for buses, it seems only fair that people with older diesel cars are given something.
‘People like incentives. Whenever there have been incentives, people take them up.
‘The Government cannot compensate people in any other way, so this is another charge for motorists. Overall, the economy will be hit.’
Scottish Tory environment spokesman Maurice Golden said: ‘Climate change is a very real and present challenge and serious action needs to take place to tackle it.
‘But the SNP’s approach is unfair. This is another example of a cackhanded approach from an increasingly out of touch SNP Government.’
He added: ‘A balanced approach must be taken and the SNP must consider the potentially negative impacts of their policies, and compensate people accordingly.’
Transport Scotland indicated the Government could revisit the issue of compensating drivers at a later date.
A spokesman said: ‘We are committed to protecting the public from the effects of poor air quality and low emission zones will improve the quality of the air in our towns and cities by allowing access to only the cleanest vehicles.’
MARCH: Scots protest against pollution