A ‘targeted’ scrappage scheme for diesel cars could be imminent, as part of plans to lower emissions and improve air quality across the country. It has been confirmed that officials in the Department for Transport and Defra are considering a scheme in the worst polluted areas of the UK, which would offer cashback or a discount on low-emission cars when motorists trade in their old vehicles.
The news followed a dramatic turn of events in London last month with Westminster Council introducing a 50 per cent surcharge on parking for diesel cars and toxic air quality levels being recorded in several London boroughs, resulting in the city’s Mayor urging people to stay indoors until levels improved.
The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, told the BBC: “The irony is that a decade ago, because of concerns about carbon emissions there was a drive towards diesel… that we now know has a different set of negative effects and the Department for the Environment is currently preparing, and will launch shortly, our strategy to take tackling the diesel problem to the next level.
“There is no question that in the future we are going to have to move to lower-emission vehicles. We need to do it soon… I would like to see a migration of people away from current technologies to lower-emission technologies. We are providing incentives to do that now and we will be doing more in the months ahead.”
Meanwhile, Autotechnician contributor David Massey, of ADS Automotive in Preston, appeared on the BBC’s One Show, to give his no-nonsense opinion on the limited shelf life of diesel vehicles, saying: “I deal with a lot of customers who are incredibly angry because they were promised by the government that these cars were cheap to buy, cheap to run and cheap to repair – that’s no longer the case.”