London Assembly recommends 'phasing out' diesel vehicles

London traffic Image copyright PA
Image caption The London Assembly environment committee has called on Boris Johnson to help London's air quality meet legal limits

The Mayor of London should introduce plans to phase out the use of diesel vehicles in London, a committee has suggested.

Diesel vehicles account for 40% of the capital's air pollution, the London Assembly environment committee said.

It also recommended bringing forward an Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is due start in 2020.

Boris Johnson said the report matched his own ambitions for "swift action" on air quality.

Public Health England suggests about 3,000 people each year are estimated to die from polluted air in the capital, making it London's second highest cause of death after smoking.

London Assembly member Stephen Knight said: "We urge the Mayor and the Government to take our recommendations on board and we call on the Mayor to finally take ownership of the matter in order to help London's air quality meet legal limits."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Public Health England suggests about 3,000 people each year are estimated to die from polluted air in the capital

The report Driving away from diesel: Reducing air pollution from diesel vehicles urges Mr Johnson to do more to tackle the capital's toxic levels of nitrogen oxide gas (NOx).

The report's recommendations include:

  • Expand the area of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which will restrict access to low and zero emission vehicles, beyond the congestion charging zone
  • Increase the ULEZ fine amount for polluting vehicles
  • Regularly review how ULEZ is working and whether the maximum pollution levels need to be lowered

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said modern diesel engines were cleaner than they had ever been with high tech filters capturing 99% of particulates.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Boris Johnson said: "The Mayor will continue to lobby the European Union to implement effective on-road testing of diesel vehicle emissions and the Government to use fiscal incentives to encourage only the cleanest vehicles, such as providing funding to scrap the most polluting diesel vehicles."

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