Half of UK drivers want diesels banned from cities

Emissions scandal had "hugely negative impact on entire industry" but are diesels now unfairly demonised?

Half of UK drivers want diesels banned from cities
Image: Bigstock.

Half of UK motorists think diesel cars should be banned from cities because of air pollution concerns, an opinion poll has found.

When asked if diesel cars should be excluded from areas around schools and hospitals, the figure rose to 80 per cent.

Almost a third of respondents said diesels should be banned from all roads.

The poll was conducted online with 2,000 people by Censuswide for Slater and Gordon, a law firm that’s representing 45,000 motorists in a group-action lawsuit against Volkswagen over the emissions scandal.

The research also found that 70 per cent of drivers believe exhaust fumes in their area were damaging their health.

New government figures published this month put the estimated number of deaths due to air pollution between 28,000 and 36,000.

“They were sold a lie”

Gareth Pope, head of group litigation at Slater and Gordon, said: “Motorists wanted cars which were clean, green and efficient and are now starting to realise they were sold a lie and their cars don’t live up to the promise.

“This survey has shown that the VW emissions scandal, and revelations about what lengths the manufacturer went to cheat clean air tests, has had a hugely negative impact on the entire industry.”

Mike Hawes, chief executive at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: “As the government says, ‘cleaner diesel cars and vans can play an important part in reducing carbon dioxide emissions during the transition to zero-emission vehicles’.

“Modern diesels will remain the right choice for many drivers for some years to come, providing affordable motoring to millions of people, particularly long-distance drivers.”

Falling diesel registrations

SMMT data shows that the number of new diesel car registrations is falling, just last month sales plummeted by 24 per cent.

It’s thought concerns about air pollution and a fear future restrictions on diesel use turning consumers away from diesel, despite claims that the very latest diesel models produce low NOx emissions.

Meanwhile, a number of vehicle manufacturers including Toyota, Subaru and Suzuki have recently confirmed plans to end UK diesel car sales.

Do you think diesel still has it’s place and believe its being unfairly demonised or do you support calls to ban diesels from our cities? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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