Boris: incentives needed to scrap polluting diesel cars

London Mayor calls for national scrappage scheme to compensate diesel drivers for switching to lesser-polluting vehicles

The London Mayor Boris Johnson has called for a national scheme to compensate drivers of diesel cars in order to encourage them to switch over to lesser-polluting vehicles in order to improve air quality in the UK.

In written evidence submitted to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) as part of its inquiry into air quality in the UK, Mr Johnson states that a national scrappage scheme for diesel and other polluting vehicles is “now needed as a priority in order to compensate people who have bought polluting diesel vehicles in good faith, as well as to drive forward air quality improvements”.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is calling for diesel drivers to be compensated for switching to more pollution-friendly cars

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is calling for diesel drivers to be compensated for switching to more pollution-friendly cars

The Mayor plans to introduce an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London in 2020, which would see drivers of polluting diesel cars having to pay more to travel in central London, despite such vehicles previously being incentivised by the government and the EU in order to cut carbon emissions.

A vehicle scrappage scheme could work in a similar way to that in 2009, which saw UK drivers of cars that were more than 10 years old offered £1,000 by the government to purchase a new car, with car manufacturers also agreeing to provide a further £1,000 off the list price for the new car.


Mr Johnson’s written evidence comes ahead of his scheduled appearance before the EAC next week (September 10) to give oral evidence alongside his advisor as part of an inquiry into the UK’s air quality, which was launched earlier this year.

The evidence submitted outlines the Mayor’s work on improving air quality since his election in 2008, including his ULEZ plans, his proposals to cut emissions from construction sites, and his recent Air Quality Manifesto (see story).

And, ahead of his appearance on Wednesday, the parliamentary committee this week (September 1) published Mr Johnson’s written evidence, on which it is now seeking views from stakeholders and the public.

The EAC is “in particular” seeking comments on: how effective Greater London Authority (GLA) air quality policy has been; the pros and cons of the Mayor’s proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone; and what questions the committee should ask the Mayor at his evidence session.


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