Skip to main content

Bright Blue, the independent think tank for liberal conservatism, welcomes the Government’s ambition to phase out petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, however argues that Government should be more supportive of low emission zones.

Bright Blue has been campaigning for all English cities to be enabled to introduce low emission zones.

Commenting, Ben Caldecott, Senior Associate Fellow at Bright Blue, said:

“Phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 will help create a much cleaner and safer country. It is an imperative if we are to tackle air pollution from vehicles and a pre-requisite for bringing carbon emissions from cars down to zero. Electric vehicles are likely to supplant petrol and diesel vehicles well before this date, but it provides an important long-term signal to investors, companies, and consumers. We commend the Government’s ambition in this area.

“It is also welcome that the Government is making available increased funds for local authorities to tackle air pollution in the immediate term. This will enable councils to take the lead in designing ambitious, innovative air quality schemes that suit local needs.

“However, the Government should be more supportive of low emission zones, which the evidence suggests are the most effective way of achieving deep reductions in air pollution. They need not be a regressive measure if there are appropriate exemptions from the charges.”