Sadiq Khan has called for the government to adopt a diesel scrappage fund to help tackle air pollution in the capital.
The mayor’s plans include £3,500 each or up to 70,000 polluting van and minibus drivers to buy cleaner vehicles in the voluntary scheme. Sadiq Khan also wants a £2,000 credit scheme that will help low-income families scrap up to 130,000 cars and £1,000 to help get rid of the oldest taxis. All in all, the proposed scheme could cost up to £515m.
The government stated it would be updating its air quality plans soon.
It is estimated that the scheme could reduce nitrogen oxide emissions produced by vehicles by 40%.
Tackling air pollution has been one of Mr Khan’s top priorities since he became mayor back in May. Last month, London was put on ‘high alert’ for pollution under a new monitoring system.
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A spokesperson for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the industry was investing ‘billions’ to reduce emissions and the latest diesel cars were the ‘cleanest in history’.
But Mr Kahn wants to make it difficult for diesel cars to be driven through the city. His plans include charging polluting cars an extra £10 for entering the congestion zone. He also wants to bring forward the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and expand it up to the North and South Circular Road.
Mr Khan said: “The toxic state of our air leaves us with no choice but to rid our city of the most polluting diesel vehicles.
“It is shocking that nearly half of new car sales in the UK are still diesel vehicles and the national system of vehicle excise duty still incentivises motorists to buy these polluting cars.”
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