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London Mayor calls for fund to scrap diesel vans

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has urged ministers to adopt a national scrappage fund that could be used to replace ‘polluting’ cars and vans.

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Proposals inlclude payments of £3,500 to scrap up to 70,000 polluting vans and minibuses in London.

In his manifesto the Mayor committed to put forward a proposal to government for a National Vehicle Scrappage Fund. Now in a new document, the Mayor has set out how the fund could be used to pay for three key proposals.

These could be delivered by the Government over a two-year period at a cost of £515m for London and include payments of £3,500 to scrap up to 70,000 polluting vans and minibuses in London as well as a national fund to support charities and small businesses that often own older diesel and mini buses (approximately £245m in London).

In addition a credit scheme valued at £2,000 would help low-income households in cities scrap up to 130,000 polluting cars, with incentives for car clubs.

The plans also include a proposal for payments of £1,000 to help scrap up to 10,000 older polluting London taxis.

The proposals would help reduce the cost of introducing and expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone and help to achieve a 40% reduction in London road transport NOx emissions.

A spokesperson for the Mayor said: “The scheme is about government shouldering the economic burden of people needing to comply with Clean Air Zones (including the ULEZ). Diesel car owners always have the option to switch to older petrol cars to comply with the ULEZ.‎ In 2019 a compliant petrol car will be up to around 13 years old. This is why we have targeted the scheme at those worst hit (low income households) but also devised it to complement the healthy streets approach (i.e. supporting a reduction in private car use where possible).”

The call follows the recent second phase of Mr Khan’s air quality consultation, which set out detailed proposals for the early introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and its expansion, as well as proposals for an emissions surcharge on older vehicles. Last month also saw Mr Khan reiterate his calls for a scrappage scheme as the Capital was put on an air quality alert.

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

“A national diesel scrappage fund is the cost effective way to deliver significant emission reductions while reducing the economic impact on those most affected, such as small businesses, charities and low income households.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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