Ban diesel cars in London, thinktank urges
IPPR analysis says capital will eventually need to phase out diesel cars and buses in order to meet EU air pollution targets
Monday 18 July 2016 13.19 BST
Diesel vehicles must be banned from London if the UK is to meet its air pollution targets, a thinktank warned on Monday.
Cars, vans and buses using diesel fuel are the leading cause of air pollution in the capital, and although steps are being taken to discourage their use, through the congestion charge and clean air zones, this will not be enough to clear the air, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found in a new report.
The number of diesel vehicles on the capital’s streets has been increasing in recent years, according to research published earlier this year.
While applauding the measures announced in recent weeks by Sadiq Khan, the recently elected Labour mayor of London, IPPR said it was likely that much more drastic steps would need to be taken if the capital is to meet clean air regulations set out by the EU.
“London’s air is both lethal and illegal,” said Harry Quilter-Pinner, researcher at IPPR. “This is a public health crisis and it should be ignored no longer. Only bold action will make the capital’s air safe to breathe again.”
Khan did not say whether he would seek to ban diesel vehicles altogether, but stressed his intention to clean up the capital’s air.
“Protecting Londoners from our toxic filthy air is an issue of life and death,” he said. “Rather than turn a blind eye to this growing health crisis, it is high time ministers faced up to their responsibilities.”
He said he was conducting a public consultation on air pollution, and urged people to make their views known.