Is making London diesel-free the way to solve looming pollution crisis?

Research published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says that London’s air pollution crisis should be solved by ridding the capital of all diesel vehicles.

The research report also sets out a series of measures to help combat pollution; suggesting imposing charges on all diesel cars, banning deiesel taxis, and increasing limits on trucks and buses.

Scientists at King’s College London modelled the solutions, which also include encouraging residents out of single-occupancy vehicles, instead moving them to public transport, cycling, and walking. Also proposed is a national scrappage scheme for old diesel vehicles.

The proposals outlined in the report go further than even London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans, and forms part of NGO ClientEarth’s ongoing court battle with the British Government, as we’ve reported on before.

However, it was exactly the charges for diesel cars suggested that the Treasury had blocked previously.

“Air pollution in London is at lethal levels,” said Laurie Laybourn-Langton, one of the IPPR report authors. “Bringing these levels down will save lives and make the capital more pleasant and prosperous for all Londoners. This won’t be easy and so our plan includes a number of measures that reduce the cost to Londoners of cleaning up transport.”

“The fact that air pollution is an invisible and odourless killer has meant that we have been sleepwalking into a health crisis that has already claimed thousands of lives,” said a trio of medical professors, Jonathan Grigg, Chris Griffiths and Stephen Holgate, in a foreword for the report: “The benefits of moving away from diesel and fossil-fuel vehicles to health, to the economy, and to the climate will be significant. All we need is the political courage to do so.”

Are you open to cities being diesel-free? Would you give up your car, or be open to paying a levy? Perhaps you’d be willing to share with someone in a non-diesel vehicle some days of the week? Have your say in the comments below!

Author Lex Barber


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