Scrappage SchemePolicy Exchange, a non-government organisation, has suggested that a new scrappage scheme be introduced for almost all diesel cars.

The think-tank suggests that such a scheme would be the fairest way to get motorists to give up derv-fulled vehicles.

“If we are to clean up air pollution, then Government needs to recognise that diesel is the primary cause of the problem, and to promote a shift to alternatives. This needs to be done in a way that does not unduly penalise existing diesel drivers, who bought their vehicle in good faith, and gives motorists sufficient time to respond” said Richard Howard, Head of Environment and Energy at Policy Exchange.

This report follows a suggestion by the Commons Select Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that some major cities could introduce extra ‘congestion charge’-style levy’s on anyone entering proscribed zones. The areas mentioned by the committee are Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton.

The outpourings of an NGO or that of a select committee rarely make it into the popular press, but The Sun has picked up on the document and has launched a reader petition to campaign for a scrappage scheme to ‘compensate drivers seduced into buying diesel cars – and now face fines over their killer fumes’.

The Policy Exchange proposals also include a higher rate of purchase tax on diesel vehicles – and parliament select committees often debate its ideas that in turn can eventually be passed into legislation.

So far the aftermarket’s response to the suggestion has been relatively muted. However Quentin Wilson, speaking on behalf of the Fair Fuel UK pressure group said: “While we definitely need to improve air quality in our cities we worry if local authorities are given powers to create congestion charge zones they’ll approach the process with the same leaden-handed zeal they’ve applied to parking. The last thing we want is to diminish the public’s enthusiasm for cleaner air. Taking old, worn and badly maintained diesel vehicles off our roads should be an urgent priority and we at FairFuelUK will support a fully thought out, workable and cost effective scrappage scheme.”

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  1. The fault lies with the ‘authorities’ for failing to police emissions regulations and to detect and prevent cheating by manufacturers. Those who bought Diesel cars which allegedly conformed to Euro-5 or Euro-6 have been badly failed by those authorities as have those whose health has been adversely affected.

    How can I trust such regulations as a future guide and assurance for purchases of such things as motor vehicles if those regulations fall into disrepute because of government laxity? Gordon Brown encouraged us to buy Diesel cars to reduce CO2 emissions at a time when CO2 was seen to be a key factor in climate change. Diesel efficiency resulting in lower CO2 emissions is the very thing which has produced the NOx problem. The vehicle buyer and owner carries the can for government misjudgements and failings.

    We do have an elephant in the room. Will the proliferation of fashionable wood stoves, so popular with naice people, cause another Great Smog reminiscent of London during October 1952? Uncontrolled combustion of wood produces nasty toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Are wood stoves sacrosanct? Their obnoxious dangerous fumes should be justification to ban their use.

    1. Chris – you make a very good point about woodburners,
      There might be more than one elephant in the room though.
      Isn’t this essentialy just the latest bandwagon for the Anxiety Industry to jump onto ?
      We have had “holes in the ozone” (gone strangely quiet on that one),
      expensive windmills producing unreliable electricity (but huge sums from the taxpayer), “islands drowning because of rising sea-levels” (actually falling sea-beds due to tectonic plate activity), “man-made climate change” (when NASA stated sunspot activity was actually responsible for historic changes). Probably more but you get the point ? Keep lobbying Government for a very narrow agenda and produce ‘interesting’ statistics to back it up.

  2. “Taking old, worn and badly maintained diesel vehicles off our roads”

    Thanks, this is what the MOT does.

    Scrappage schemes have always been to boost new car sales