homeWednesday 12th December 2018

Car firms must do more to clean up air, says public poll

Katie Coyne11/01/2018 - 13:43

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Half the public want to see polluting vehicles off the road
Half the public want to see polluting vehicles off the road

Half of the British public support charges to kick polluting vehicles off the roads according to environmental campaign group ClientEarth.

It asked YouGov to carry out a poll asking whether people would support a variety of measures to improve the air quality across the UK.

A whopping 71 per cent thought car manufacturers ought to be funding some of these changes to clean up air pollution.

Those polled were also 52 per cent in favour of charging highly polluting vehicles when they entered certain areas. Meanwhile, 53 per cent were supportive of incentivising owners to trade in their diesel vehicles.

ClientEarth spokesperson Simon Alcock said: ‘People are more aware than ever of the harm air pollution is causing to them and their children and they want to see action.

‘The government's own evidence shows that a national network of charging clean air zones would be the most effective way to bring down illegal and toxic levels of air pollution’

The poll comprised 1,692 adults and was carried out, online, in mid December.

While almost three quarters of those polled thought vehicle manufacturers should help foot the bill. Just 10 per cent were against the move, with the remainder saying they didn’t know.

Clean Air Zones were strongly supported by 19 per cent, tended to be supported by 33 per cent giving the 52 per cent total. A further 18 per cent neither supported nor opposed with 10 per cent tending to oppose, and 8 per cent strongly opposing. The remaining 11per cent didn't know. 

Diesel scrappage schemes involve incentivising people to trade in their high emitting diesel vehicles. Some 15 per cent of those polled strongly supported the idea while 38 per cent said they tended to support it.

A further 21per cent said they did not support the idea nor did they oppose it, leaving just 4per cent strongly opposing and a further 6 per cent tending to oppose.

Alcock added: ‘A scrappage scheme is one of the solutions to this problem. People will need help to move to cleaner forms of transport, whether that's hybrid or electric vehicles, public transport or making more journeys by walking or cycling.’

The government had previously looked at introducing a diesel scrappage scheme but abandoned the idea.

It considered the idea as part of its response to a court ruling that it was not doing enough to improve air quality, after ClientEarth took legal action against it.

In fact ClientEarth has already taken the government to court twice over this issue and twice the government has been found to have failed to take adequate action to bring UK air quality into legal limits.

ClientEarth will take the government back to court for a third time over this same issue on 25 January. 


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