Archive For 'July, 2014'
Boris Johnson, mayor of London, could be about to increase the London congestion charge for diesel vehicles in order to lower pollution in the capital by pushing drivers towards cleaner petrol and electric models. But does it hold wider implications for motorists who run, or are thinking of buying, a diesel car?
"Not if I don't drive in London," would be the obvious answer, but where the capital goes others towns and cities tend to follow. Oxford already has a low emission zone for buses, which could be extended to other vehicles, and at least 20 other cities are considering congestion charges of their own. These include Leicester, Sheffield, Birmingham and Bristol. While these might not penalise diesel cars specifically to begin with, it could just be a matter of time.
The current situation is the result of legislation over the past 15 or so years that was intended to lower carbon emissions by pushing people towards diesel. As a result of government tax incentives, not to mention huge improvements in the driveability of diesel cars, sales have exploded.
“In the last 15 years we’ve seen dieselisation of the car fleet, switching from under 10 percent of the market to more than half,” Matthew Pencharz, the mayor of London's senior environment advisor, told us in May this year. “But diesel has exacerbated greatly the air quality problem in London.”
The comments came at the same time as the London Mayor's office released figures showing that diesels emit the bulk of emissions that endanger health, with cars (including private-hire taxis) contributing to 39 percent of smog-forming nitrogen dioxide (NO2), 28 percent of related oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 54 percent of PM10 particulate matter.
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