Drivers' views on polluting vehicles
55% of motorists say they would support banning more poluting vehicles from entering areas with the worst air quality
57% of drivers support the introduction of charges for diesel vehicles entering poor air quality areas
66% of drivers agree stronger action needs to be taken to reduce pollution from vehicles in areas with the poorest air quality
At the end of 2015, the Government announced plans22 to improve air quality in those English cities unable to meet EU air quality minimum standards by introducing a number of Clean Air Zones. This policy is likely to see the most polluting commercial vehicles charged for entering certain parts of Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton by 2020 – but the proposed approach is to target the greatest contributors to nitrogen dioxide emissions such as buses, taxis and commercial vehicles so owners of private cars may not be affected.
Most motorists (55%) support such proposals – only 12% say they are against them – with almost half (42%) saying they were already aware of the Government’s plans for Clean Air Zones.
The environmental proposal which receives the least support in the Report is for the introduction of charges for ‘all diesel vehicles’ entering areas with the poorest air quality: only 42% of drivers think this is a good idea against 30% who do not.
This is worth noting given the schemes introduced over recent years by certain local authorities, such as Islington in north London, which imposes surcharges for parking permits for all private diesel cars, regardless of how much they are used or whether they meet the most recent – and therefore most stringent – emissions standards23.
55% of drivers support the Government's proposal to establish Clean Air Zones where pollutant levels exceed safe standards
27% of drivers are unaware of plans for Clean Air Zones
Finally, there has been a small increase in the percentage of motorists who agree that the current level of motoring taxes is a 'fair price' for the environmental damage that vehicle use can cause: 35% now support this assertion (31% in 2015) against 31% who oppose it (34% last year).
42% of drivers support the introduction of charges for all diesel vehicles entering areas with the poorest air quality
30% of motorists do not think it's a good idea to impose charges on diesel vehicle owners for entering the poorest air quality areas
35% agree that the current level of motoring taxes is a 'fair price' for the environmental damage that vehicles can cause