Environment Secretary Michael Gove has promised to build on the publication of today’s plan to address nitrogen dioxide emissions in towns and cities, with the publication of a ‘comprehensive Clean Air Strategy’ in 2018.
The strategy will encompass air pollution from a wide range of sources, and will deliver clean air ‘for the whole country’ the Secretary of State has said.
This lunchtime (26 July) the government published a series of policy proposals which centred on improvements in air pollution at local level, driven by local authorities who have to provide clean air plans by the end of 2018 (see airqualitynews.com story). The Government will help towns and cities by providing £255 million to implement their plans.
Proposals also indicate that the government will seek to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol-only vehicles from 2040.
The government will also consult in the autumn on measures to support motorists, residents and businesses affected by local plans – such as retrofitting, subsidised car club memberships, exemptions from any vehicles restrictions, or a targeted scrappage scheme for car and van drivers.
Commenting following the launch of the plan, Mr Gove said that the government will follow these proposals up by publishing an air quality strategy in 2018 to look at ‘more than just transport’.
He said: “Today’s plan sets out how we will work with local authorities to tackle the effects of roadside pollution caused by dirty diesels, in particular nitrogen dioxide.
“This is one element of the government’s £3 billion programme to clean up the air and reduce vehicle emissions.
“Improving air quality is about more than just transport, so next year we will publish a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy. This will set out how we will address all forms of air pollution, delivering clean air for the whole country.â€?
Commenting on today’s proposals, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, said: â€?We are determined to deliver a green revolution in transport and reduce pollution in our towns and cities.
“We are taking bold action and want nearly every car and van on UK roads to be zero emission by 2050 which is why we’ve committed to investing more than £600m in the development, manufacture and use of ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020.
“Today we commit £100m towards new low emission buses and retrofitting older buses with cleaner engines.
“We are also putting forward proposals for van drivers to have the right to use heavier vehicles if they are electric or gas-powered, making it easier for businesses to opt for cleaner commercial vehicles.â€?