Diesel drivers face higher fuel duty taxes and extra charges in urban centres across England, under the latest government plans to tackle air pollution.
In their detailed plans, ministers have revealed they intend to increase taxes on diesel cars or fuel, an issue that is currently subject to a review.
Government documents state that measures to tackle illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), including a £255m fund for councils to implement Clean Air Zones (CAZ) among other schemes, would be funded ‘by relevant taxes on new diesel cars alongside existing departmental budgets’.
The CAZs are expected to be brought into at least five cities – including Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton – by the end 2019. A Defra spokesperson Highways that the Government still intends to mandate the five cities, and possibly other authorities, to implement CAZs.
CAZs would see diesel and older petrol cars paying charges for entering the zones. London is implementing its own measures including a special £10-a-day T-charge for the most polluting vehicles, which will be in force by October 23 this year.
An Ultra Low Emissions Zone will also be introduced in central London in 2019.
A national diesel scrappage scheme has been mooted but ministers have stressed it would be ‘targeted’.
A government overview document states: ‘A targeted scrappage scheme will also be considered.’ However, the detailed plan notes that ‘analysis of previous schemes has shown poor value for the taxpayer and that they are open to a degree of fraud’.