Diesel Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions

Department for Transport written question – answered on 23rd May 2016.

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Photo of Lilian Greenwood Lilian Greenwood Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 9 May 2016 to Question 36052, on diesel vehicles: exhaust emissions, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of a pre-Euro 4 diesel scrappage scheme; how many vehicles in the UK were estimated to have been potentially eligible for a claim under such a scheme; and whether a benefit-cost ratio was calculated for that proposal.

Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Improving the UK’s air quality is a priority for this Government; we want the UK to have the best natural environment, and clean air is an essential part of this ambition.

The Government’s National Air Quality Plan, published on 17 December 2015, sets out a comprehensive approach to improving UK air quality. A key measure of this is the introduction of new Clean Air Zones in five UK cities (Birmingham, Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby), along with the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London. The Plan will tackle the most polluting vehicles in air pollution hotspots, and will enable us to reach compliance with legal limit values as quickly as possible.

A national scrappage scheme for diesel cars was considered, which included a high-level cost estimate looking at offering grants for scrappage of the dirtiest vehicles.

It was found that even if only offering the scheme to pre-Euro 4 diesel cars only, the costs ran into the billions and impact on emissions was marginal.

This would have minimal impact on compliance with legal limit values for air quality in 2020. It is estimated that 400,000 pre euro 4 diesel cars will remain in the national fleet by this time.

As the costs of a scrappage were considered prohibitively expensive this option was judged an ineffective use of resource, and further analysis was not carried out.

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