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Scrappage scheme will rid London of just 1-in-55 polluting vehicles

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

Transport for London (TfL) has revealed that the £25 million scrappage scheme proposed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan would rid the capital’s streets of just 1-in-55 high polluting cars.

The Times newspaper reported today (August 2) how Government Ministers are under renewed pressure to drive polluting cars off the road after the shortcomings of the targeted scheme were laid bare by TfL.

Caroline Pidgeon, a Liberal Democrat London assembly member, told the newspaper that it was clear that the scheme would have only “limited benefits”, adding that “any serious move away from diesel vehicles must involve a national scrappage scheme being adopted”.

Sadiq Khan’s proposed £25m scrappage scheme was announced earlier this year and will be funded through local business rates.

It has been designed to target vehicle owners on low incomes and those with disabilities and follows the April introduction of an ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) which sees the owners of older cars charged £12.50 to enter central London.

However, The Times reported that a TfL report setting out details of the scheme, which is due to be introduced this autumn, found that while between 557,500 and 669,000 owners across Greater London would probably be able to make a claim only between 12,250 and 24,500 vehicles would be scrapped, with each owner getting from £1,000 to £2,000 off a new car.

Ministers have rejected a national scrappage scheme because of the cost and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) had raised the prospect of a targeted scrappage scheme to cut roadside emissions but it was dropped last year.

Earlier this year a network of local government leaders urged Government to establish a £1.5 billion government-funded vehicle upgrade programme which could pay for nearly half a million (488,647) older polluting cars, vans and buses to be taken off the roads and incentivise people and businesses into using low-emission vehicles and public transport, however.

Sadiq Khan has joined with representatives from the UK100 for face-to face talks with Government ministers at the National Clean Air Summit in February.

He was joined by city leaders including the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the West of England Tim Bowles, and Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis, to ask for greater Government investment in clean air, the adoption of World Health Organisation air pollution recommended limits and the establishment of a £1.5 billion government-funded vehicle upgrade programme.

Burnham, said: “Air pollution is linked to the equivalent of 1,200 early deaths each year in Greater Manchester alone.

“We urgently need Government to guarantee the right level of powers and funding to help us tackle the scale of the problem without damaging our local economies.

“That includes adequate funding so we can help businesses make the change to cleaner vehicles. Without this support we won’t be able to do what’s required to clean up our air, keep our region an attractive, sustainable and healthy place to live and work and – ultimately – save lives.”

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