The Liberal Democrats have branded the government’s failure to include a scrappage scheme in its air quality plan as a “betrayal” of diesel car drivers.

In May, the Conservatives claimed that diesel drivers would receive compensation to encourage them to scrap or retrofit highly polluting vehicles, however this ambition has now been watered down to a consultation on a “targeted scrappage scheme.”

Former Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Ed Davey MP commented:

“The government promised compensation to help diesel drivers replace their cars just a few months ago. Now the scrappage scheme has been all but scrapped.

“It’s a shameful betrayal of diesel car drivers and shows the utter lack of ambition of this plan.

“Around half a million more people will have died prematurely as a result of air pollution by the time the ban on diesel cars comes into force.

“We can’t wait another generation to tackle this silent killer.”

Cllr Adele Morris, LGA Liberal Demcrat Transport Spokesperson, added:

“Liberal Democrats in Local Government are calling on the government to introduce a national diesel scrappage scheme to get more polluting vehicles off the road. This immediate intervention could help increase the uptake of lower emission vehicles. In addition local councils urgently need to see more details on how councils will be funded to improve air quality, as there are concerns these plans do not go far enough or fast enough”.


Notes to Editors

  • The government’s air quality plan can be found here.
  • It was reported in May 2017 that under Conservative plans diesel drivers would receive compensation to encourage them to scrap or “retrofit” highly polluting vehicles (link).
  • An estimated 40,000 people die prematurely in the UK each year as a result of air pollution (link). This means an estimated 520,000 people will die prematurely by the time the government’s proposed ban on diesel cars comes into force in 2040.

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