The British government announced on Wednesday that it will end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution. France announced a similar ban earlier this month.
The UK has confirmed that it will ban the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. The ban is just one of several measures that the government unveiled this week in a bid to tackle air pollution at busy road junctions and hotspots.
“Today’s announcement is focused on delivering nitrogen dioxide (NO2) compliance at the roadside in the shortest amount of time,” the government stated.
Next year, it will publish what it describes as a ‘comprehensive’ Clean Air Strategy to address other sources of air pollution over the long term.
As part of its air quality measures, the government will provide towns and cities with GPB 255 million to help them implement their clean air plans. It is also setting up a Clean Air Fund for councils to bid for money to introduce measures such as changing road layouts to cut congestion or upgrading bus fleets.
Local authorities are expected to produce draft plans by March 2018 and final plans by the end of 2018.
The air quality package also includes GBP 1 billion for ultra-low emissions vehicles, including investing nearly GBP 100 million in the UK’s charging infrastructure and funding the ‘Plug In Car’ and ‘Plug in Van’ grant schemes.
A further GBP 290 will go toward a national productivity investment fund for reducing transport emissions, GBP 89 million for a green bus fund to help local authorities put over 1,200 new low carbon buses on Britain’s roads, and GBP 1.2 billion for investments in cycling and walking from 2016-2021.
According to the government, air pollution continues to have an avoidable impact on people’s health and poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to publish health in the UK, costing the country up to GPB 2.7 billion in lost productivity in 2012.