Cars powered by gasoline or diesel fuels will be banned in Britain from 2040, the government announced. It is the toughest measure ever in a government plan to see all cars and vans emission free by 2050.
The proposals by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are part of the toughest-ever anti-pollution measures ever raised in the country.
“Today’s plan sets out how we will work with local authorities to tackle the effects of roadside pollution caused by dirty diesels, in particular nitrogen dioxide,” said the Environment Secretary Michael Gove on Wednesday.
“This is one element of the government’s 3 billion pound ($4 billion) programme to clean up the air and reduce vehicle emissions,” he said.
Town and city authorities will also be handed new powers to impose charges on the most polluting vehicles.
The “UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations” produced by Defra and the Department for Transport outlines how councils with the worst levels of air pollution at busy road junctions and hotspots must take robust action.
Air quality in Britain has been improving significantly, with reductions in emissions of all of the key pollutants, and NO2 levels was cut by half in the last 15 years, according to the Defra.
Despite this, an analysis of over 1,800 of Britain’s major roads shows that 81 locations, 4 per cent of the total, breach legal pollution limits for NO2, with 33 of them outside of London.
Britain is one of 17 Europe Union countries breaching annual targets for NO2, a problem which has been made worse by the failure of the European testing regime for vehicle emissions.