Half of UK drivers want diesel vehicle ban
More than half of British motorists believe diesel cars should be banned from UK roads following the Volkswagen emissions scandal in 2015, a new survey has found.
The research from law firm Slater and Gorton, which is suing Volkswagen, shows that almost one-third of drivers want a ban on all roads, while a further quarter want restrictions in built-up areas and city centres.
It was also found that a whopping four in five would like to see the introduction of exclusion zones near schools and hospitals, with more than five in eight worried about the air children are breathing.
Slater and Gordon’s head of group litigation, Gareth Pope, said Volkswagen – which is Europe’s biggest diesel producer – had “sold a lie” to customers after “cheating” clean air tests three years ago.
“For many motorists, getting an environmentally friendly and fuel efficient model was the number one factor for buying diesel,” he continued.
“The Volkswagen emissions scandal, and revelations about what lengths the manufacturer went to cheat clean air tests, has had a hugely negative impact on the entire industry.”
The research involved a national poll of 2,000 drivers, finding that 70% believe exhaust fumes are damaging their health, with 20% saying car emissions are “very damaging”.
Three-quarters said they thought regulators should be given powers to immediately take cars off the road if they failed real-world emissions tests, with 70% believing diesel cars have been “mis-sold” to the UK market as clean.
The government has already announced plans to scrap the production of petrol and diesel engine cars – which is linked to more than 38,000 deaths a year globally - by 2040.
However, the latest survey found that more than half of British drivers want the deadline brought forward.
“Diesel cars have been fuelling a major air pollution crisis that has made our cities' air toxic and harmful to breathe,” Greenpeace clean air campaigner, Morten Thaysen, said.
“We need a rapid switch to electric by the car industry to help clean up our air and protect our climate.”
Image credit: iStock
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM