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Call to ban diesel vans in London

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Sadiq Khan wants to reduce the number of diesel cars in London, but one council wants them banned

Council backs bid to remove cars entirely by 2025, with Sadiq Khan seeking government help

Sadiq Khan hopes to give drivers up to £3,500 each to scrap their polluting vans and minibuses and buy cleaner vehicles in their place.

The London mayor hopes the voluntary scheme, which would be funded by central government, would also extend to cars, with £2,000 credit to help low-income families scrap cars and £1,000 credit to replace old, polluting taxis.

Nitrogen oxide emissions are the greatest pollutant on London’s roads today and it is estimated that reducing the number of diesel vehicles on the capital’s streets would help secure at 40% reduction.

“The toxic state of our air leaves us with no choice but to rid our city of the most polluting diesel vehicles,” Mr Khan said.

“It is shocking that nearly half of new car sales in the UK are still diesel vehicles and the national system of vehicle excise duty still incentivises motorists to buy these polluting cars.”

‘Ban them all’

His message came as Islington became the first council in London to call for a wholescale ban on diesel cars, vans and minibuses in less than a decade.

“A blanket ban in the capital on all diesel vehicles, including the ones meeting the Euro 6 standard, would have a dramatic impact on air quality for the millions of us who work and live in London,” said Islington’s executive member for environment and transport, Cllr Claudia Webbe.

“The capital’s air pollution is nothing short of a public health crisis, reducing the quality and shortening the lives of all Londoners. The answer has to be bold and co-ordinated across all levels of government.”

She added: “I am urging him to go further still and commit to brave, truly life-changing measures. It is never too soon to start reclaiming London’s air for the sake of those who breathe it every day.”

Central government is consulting on clean air measures and is expected to report back later this year.