Diesel ban will cost you £36m... but car driv­ers won’t get scrap­page cash

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Gareth Rose

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

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