Government considering diesel scrappage scheme

The government could pay drivers to scrap their older diesel cars, as part of its fight against urban pollution.

Reports suggest the scheme, which could be announced this week, could offer to pay drivers up to £2,000 towards a newer, cleaner car, although it will only to certain drivers. Those who could take advantage might include drivers in areas where pollution is highest, or those on lower incomes.

Diesel cars emit nitrogen oxides. The UK had almost 12,000 premature deaths linked to nitrogen dioxide in 2013, according to the European Environment Agency. That was the second-highest total in Europe after Italy.

There are about 11.2 million diesel cars on UK roads, 17% of which are more than 12 years old.

Neil Parish, chair of the Commons environment committee, is expected to raise the issue during tomorrow’s parliamentary debate, suggesting that government funding of £500m would take nearly 10% of the five million dirtiest diesels off the road. It’s expected that half the funding will come from government with the other half from car manufacturers.