Diesel car owners will be encouraged to trade their vehicles for electric ones.
Petrol and diesel cars are to be banned by 2040 after fears that Nitrogen Oxide could be causing over 40,000 premature deaths a year due to poor air quality.
The decision comes as the UK government lost a court battle with environmental campaigners ClientEarth over breaches of EU standards over air quality.
James Thornton, CEO of ClientEarth, said: “The government has trumpeted some promising measures with its air quality plans, but we need to see the detail.
“A clear policy to move people towards cleaner vehicles by banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans after 2040 is welcome, as is more funding for local authorities.”
The government has agreed to lay out a new air plan, which will in time reduce the health risks, level air quality, and promote thing such as electric cars to reduce emissions.
A spokesperson for the government said:
“Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and the government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible…”
However, motorsport experts are not too pleased with the news and have warned that it is going to be expensive with electric cars and will be impractical.
Just 4% of new car sales are for electric vehicles. This number will be set to increase in the coming years as the government urges the public to ditch petrol and diesel cars for electric or hybrid.
Alan Bariana, 27 of Birmingham, had this to say: “I’m all for the ban if it improves air quality but my concerns are will the national grid cope with the extra demand for electricity?”
Other measures to increase air quality include: Retrofitting buses, changing road layouts, removing speed humps and changing roundabouts.
There is also talks of a scrappage scheme, in which diesel car owners will be encouraged to trade their vehicles for electric ones.
However, the immediate threat of the EU rules breach is to be tackled first. Local authorities will be given funding to implement any changes.
The impact it will have on those with diesel and petrol cars especially is huge, as electric cars are still not the main car used in the UK, and it is likely that since the UK has followed in the footsteps in the French with the ban, other countries may also follow.