The Majority Of Drivers Oppose Diesel City Bans...

The Majority Of Drivers Oppose Diesel Bans In Cities

The Majority Of Drivers Oppose Diesel City Bans...

The vast majority of motorists are opposed to the introduction of diesel bans in city centres. That’s according to new research…

Widespread Opposition

Approximately 84% of motorists are opposed to diesel bans being introduced in city centres. That’s according to a survey conducted by Motorpoint involving nearly 1,000 respondents. This discovery comes at a time when Bristol City Council is looking to implement such a ban; it’d exclude diesel models from the centre of the city between 07:00 am and 15:00 pm. Whilst the council has approved the plans, and wants to introduce them by 2021, it must wait for government approval. But this is just one small part of a broader plan to tackle emissions in 24 urban areas by 2025.

Mark Carpenter, CEO of Motorpoint, is in favour of measures designed to improve air-quality. But, like many of the motorists surveyed, feels that a blanket ban will prove ineffective. He said, “the message from motorists is that a blanket ban on privately-owned diesels, especially when two out of five vehicles on the road today are diesels, won’t work and local authorities need to go back to the drawing board in order to come up with a solution that doesn’t just penalise diesel drivers”.  The proposed ban in Bristol is actually broader than the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in London; there only petrols and diesels that pre-date certain emission standards are penalised.

What’s the Solution?

Local authorities, especially in major cities, have been landed with the difficult challenge of meeting stringent air quality standards; the majority of which they’re legally required to meet and, in many cases, relatively quickly. The problem is that many measures that could be implemented could disrupt motorists in the city and visitors travelling by car. Whilst modern petrols and diesels are becoming cleaner and cleaner, older models are often highly polluting when it comes to CO2, NOx and harmful particulates. Many motorists, however, originally adopted diesel precisely because governments and automakers presented them as the ‘greener’ option. There are also fears that diesel bans, or driving bans, hit the poorest the hardest.

Consequently, there’s a clear clash between the interests of motorists and local authorities who need to tackle emissions and improve air quality. However, given the significant differences between older diesels and the latest models, a fair measure might be to discriminate between them; and to offer some form of compensation or scrappage solution to the drivers of the former. Alternately, a broader date could simply be set, allowing drivers more time to adopt a cleaner powertrain. That said, for environmentalists and people especially vulnerable to particulates, we’re already racing against the climate crisis clock. If so, they’d no doubt argue that the collective health of a city’s population is more important than the concerns of diesel drivers alone…

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