The Mayor of London has today proposed motorists receive at least £1,000 for scrapping diesel cars, which are increasingly being seen as the cause of reduced air quality in city centres.
Boris Johnson proposed the idea for a nationwide scheme in written evidence ahead of his appearance at an inquiry on air quality at the House of Commons.
The submission reads: "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," the London Evening Standard reports.
If successful, the scheme would be similar to 2009 when the Government offered owners of vehicles over ten years old £1,000 towards a new car under the condition their current wheels were taken out of commission. The scrappage scheme ended in March 2010 and was designed to boost car sales but also removed less efficient and more polluting older vehicles from the road.
Johnson declared that London’s air quality is a top priority and urged the UK Government and European Union to adopt the same attitude. He is asking them to help reverse the move to diesel cars, which has been encouraged for a number of years through the vehicle taxation system and the rising cost of fuel.
"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." – Boris Johnson
The move follows Johnson’s recent proposal to raise the congestion charge for diesel vehicles in London, doubling it to £20 for cars not meeting strict Euro 6 emissions regulations.
The Mayor defended his city in the inquiry into worsening air quality and stated that, despite critics claiming it is the most polluted city in the world, other cities are not being as forthcoming with their results.
In his written submissions, he added: “London also has a proud history of locating its monitors in the most polluted places (often on the central reservation of the road or at kerbside).
“Some cities – especially those where resources may be limited or air pollution is less of a priority – have smaller networks, locate them at “background” sites or may not monitor pollution at all.”
Do you think a diesel scrappage scheme would be an effective method of improving air pollution in congested city centres? Have your say in the comments section below.