Toxin taxes of up to £20 a day for diesel cars may be introduced in 35 British towns and cities, in an attempt by authorities to clamp down on dangerously high levels of nitrogen oxides and particulates – which are caused largely by diesel vehicles.

The Sunday Times reports diesel vehicles could actually be banned during peak hours from nine or 10 of the worst-affected regions; charges would be introduced to discourage them and some areas may go for the double whammy of bans AND charges. Areas believed to be considering the measures, set to be unveiled this week by environment secretary Andrea Leadsom, include London, Birmingham, Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby.

Only the very newest Euro 6 models (sold from September 2015) will escape the charges. Around 10 million diesel vehicles will thus be affected.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is also expected to this week introduce a £12.50 daily charge from 2019, on the most polluting vehicles entering Greater London (that’s inside the North Circular and South Circular). This would be on top of the £10 ‘T-charge’ Congestion Charge premium for pre-2006 diesel and petrol cars that goes live on October 23. 

The Sunday Times says the anti-diesel measures are being taken after the government was taken to the High Court by green group ClientEarth over its 2015 air quality plan. This, claims the paper, used motor industry figures that underestimated the amount of real-world car pollution by up to a factor of six. Anti-diesel taxes are thus also expected in the chancellor’s autumn budget.

Source: The Sunday Times