Great Britain gets greener

As the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) confirm declining sales of new diesel vehicles, research from roadside assistance provider, Allianz Global Assistance UK, reveals just how willing consumers are to help cut pollution on the UK roads.

Throughout this year major vehicle manufacturers have announced plans to introduce scrappage schemes to cut out old diesel and petrol models.  Nearly half (48%) of the UK drivers surveyed by Allianz said they would be willing to take part in such a scheme, but only if there was a suitable financial incentive;  42% of  women would be happy to take part if financially incentivised compared to 56% of males. There are 17 car manufacturers currently extending scrappage schemes to British motorists, with incentives up to £8,000 on offer.

Over half of the respondents (53%) also want to see the proposed Government pollution charging scheme implemented, which would mean paying fees to drive in Clean Air Zones in order to cut out the use of ‘dirty’ vehicles.  17% of those surveyed were unaware that such a scheme has been proposed.  Vehicles meeting a minimum emissions standard will gain free entry into a Clean Air Zone, including fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  Diesel cars with Euro 6 standards and petrol cars with Euro 4 standards could also be exempt.

As from 23 October, owners of diesel and petrol vehicles manufactured before 2005 that do not meet Euro 4 emissions standards for nitrogen oxide (NO2) and particulates will be required to pay an extra ‘T-Charge’ £10 fee to enter central London, which is battling an emissions crisis. It is believed this could affect around 10,000 vehicles per day.

Over half (54%) also agree that speed bumps should be removed from UK roads in order to cut pollution, whereas the remaining 46% believe this will jeopardise road safety.

Commenting on the research, Kate Walker, head of strategic market management for Allianz Worldwide Partners in the UK explains, ‘We are seeing a huge shift in people’s attitudes towards the impact emissions are having on the environment and the health of the British public.

‘Individuals are actively supporting cleaner driving, but recognise that there are personal financial implications and are wary that shifting to cleaner driving could leave them out of pocket. It will be extremely interesting to see how certain clean air and scrappage schemes develop in the coming months, but one thing is for certain, everybody, including government, the motor industry and UK car owners, have a role to play in reducing global emissions.’