The government has announced that new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution.
Ministers have also unveiled a £255m fund to help councils tackle emissions, including the potential for charging zones for the dirtiest vehicles. Local authorities will be given direct financial support from the government, with £40m of the fund being made immediately.
They can use the funds for a range of measures, such as changing road layouts, implementing new technologies or encouraging residents on to public transport. If those measures do not cut emissions enough, charging zones could be the next step but the government says these should only be used for limited period.
The timetable for councils to come up with initial plans has been cut from eighteen months to eight, with the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) wanting to “inject additional urgency” into the process.
It follows the government being given its own deadline of 31 July after High Court judges said it was failing to meet EU pollution limits.
(Source BBC News)