If the new government plans come into being, the drivers in U.K. will have to come to terms with London’s mayor Boris Johnson proposals that all diesel cars should be banned from city centers or be forced to pay extra charges.
In 2012 thousands of motorists were forced off the road because of the Low Emission Zone, which then extended to include transit vans, mini buses and a range of other vehicles, all powered by diesel. Many people contested the decision as they could not afford to replace their cars or convert them to match the new emission standards. While some bought new vehicles, others had to purchase second hand cars to comply with the new restrictions.
Johnson want to introduce the new Ultra Low Emission Zone by 2020, which means diesel vehicle that don’t comply will be charged £10 a day, adding to the current £11.50 congestion charge. He also wants to lobby the government to increase the vehicle excise duty as to encourage motorists to switch to cleaner vehicles.
Even if some environmental groups asked for a total ban on diesel vehicles, the mayor stated that “It would not be reasonable to say, ‘I’m sorry, you have just bought that car but it’s now banned.’ People bought them in good faith and it’s not fair to clobber them. We think a five-year notice gives them enough warning. People who drive in once a month might not buy a newer car whereas somebody who drives in every day probably would do.”
It is unclear yet which diesel vehicles would be affected, but current suggestions indicate that diesel cars which meet the Euro 6 emissions standard would be exempt, while petrol cars registered before 2006 would have to pay increased taxes.
By Gabriela Florea