Britain to ban diesel and petrol cars from 2040

No new petrol and diesel fuelled cars and vans will sold in Britain from 2040.

The move comes as ministers unveil a new £255m fund to help local authorities tackle the rising emissions from dirty diesel motors, as part of a £3b spend on improving air quality.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove told the BBC that the government would give more than £200m to local authorities to draw up plans to tackle particular roads with high pollution.  Talking to the Today programme, he said: “What we’re saying to local authorities is come up with an imaginative solution to these proposals,” Asked if there could be charges for drivers of certain vehicles he said: “I don’t believe that it is necessary to bring in charging, but we will work with local authorities in order to determine what the best approach is.”

In the UK, air pollution is linked to around 40,000 premature deaths in a single year, with transport being considered the greatest environmental risk to health. The Government was ordered by the high court to produce new plans to tackle illegal levels of harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide. Judges agreed with environmental campaigners that the previous plans were insufficient to meet EU pollution limits.

It is expected that the councils with the highest pollution levels will have urgent measures brought in, which are set to include retrofitting buses to make them cleaner, altering road layouts, and re-programming traffic lights to allow for smoother flow of traffic. It is thought ministers will consult on a scrappage scheme later this year, but this has yet to be confirmed. Ministers have been wary of being seen to “punish” drivers of diesel cars, who, they argue, bought the vehicles after being encouraged to by the last Labour government because they produced lower carbon emissions.

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