22 June 2018

City leaders call for 2030 ban on the sale of diesel and petrol cars and vans

Leaders of towns and cities from across England and Wales have called on the government to ban the sale of new ‘pure’ diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2030.

Banning the sale of new 'pure' diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2030 would, said the group, encourage car manufacturers and other businesses to innovate, helping ensure the UK was a world leader in low emission technology.

To ensure the roll out of the vital electric vehicle infrastructure needed to support that, cities should have the power to install charge points at petrol stations and private car parks that were publicly accessible, say the city chiefs.

The cross-party leaders' group, representing around 20 million people from towns and cities in England and Wales, has urged the government to bring forward current plans to phase out the vehicles from 2040, the government's confirmed date, to 2030 to tackle the nation's growing air quality health crisis.

Currently poor air quality is estimated to contribute to more than 40,000 premature deaths across the country each year, with emissions from cars and vans estimated to cost £6 billion annually to the NHS and society.

But research has shown that the phasing out of petrol and diesel vehicles would lead to a 30% reduction in pollution in 2030, improving health, and potentially boosting the country's economy by billions by making the UK a global leader in low-emission technology.

The call for action was discussed on Wednesday (20 June) at a national air quality summit organised by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan, UK100 and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). The summit saw city leaders, MPs and the Environment Secretary Michael Gove discuss plans to improve the country's air quality.

Together, the city leaders reiterated their commitment to working together to reduce emissions and tackle pollution for the good of the country. In addition to taking strong action in their own areas, they called for the earlier phasing out of diesel and petrol vehicles, an enhanced Clean Air Fund from government and manufacturers that will support Clean Air Zones, a targeted national vehicle renewal scheme to replace older polluting vehicles, and a Clean Air Act that sets strict air quality limits.

Mr Khan said: "Air pollution is not an isolated problem, it's a national health crisis. We have to take bold action, but while we're all doing what we can, we need government support to do even more. Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, providing support to deliver Clean Air Zones in cities and introducing a national vehicle renewal scheme will dramatically improve our air quality and our health."

The leaders included mayors and city leaders covering Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Oxford, Sheffield, Southampton and the West Midlands.