The FairFuelUK Campaign and its 1.3m supporters welcomes The Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (Efra) calling for a diesel engine scrappage scheme but are concerned their latest call for five cities - Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton – to have extra powers to charge polluting vehicles to enter new clean air zones may give free license for local authorities to have a 'green' excuse to fleece money from already highly taxed drivers to fill the authorities' financial black holes.
Quentin Willson, TV motoring journalist, broadcaster and lead campaigner for FairFuelUK 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.’
a FairFuelUK survey of 6,365 drivers carried out in 1st quarter 2016 who regard their diesel
vehicles as essential to their daily lives, 35.6% of respondents said they
support an older diesel engine incentivised scrappage scheme with a further
44.6% wanting to know more about such a scheme before making a decision.
Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign said: ‘It angers our 1.3m supporters that both central and local authorities will inevitably resort to knee jerk urban tax hikes on drivers who have no other choice but to use their vehicles for work and for essential activities in their daily lives. Millions of diesel owners are already livid paying the highest fuel tax in the EU and being encouraged ironically by a previous Labour Government to change to diesel vehicles due to lower CO2 emissions. We have repeatedly asked the Government to have a sensible debate to incentivise drivers and manufacturers to move to cleaner fuels. It must be a long term strategy not a quick cash grab on motorists.’