In January of this year, the UK Government was issued a ‘final warning’ from the European Commission about the poor levels of air quality – it was found that there were repeated breaches of the limits in 16 different areas, with Birmingham and Leeds consistently among the worst areas. The fines for such breaches could total in the region of £60 million.
As a response to that, there are plans for two new congestion charging schemes to come into force on the 1st January 2020, which could see some vehicles paying as much as £100 per day to enter the city centres.
Clean air zones
Both Birmingham and Leeds city councils are looking to introduce schemes similar to London’s ULEZ (Ultra-Low Emission Zones) in a bid to tackling the ‘crisis-level’ air pollution found in the cities. Only vehicles that meet Euro 4 for unleaded (generally manufactured after 2006) or Euro 6 for diesel (2015 onwards) would be exempt from the charge, although it’s thought that Leeds will only target the commercial vehicles such as taxis, buses and HGVs, whereas Birmingham will look to the private motorist also.
A spokesman for Birmingham City Council stated that the charge wasn’t about making money, that all surplus would go back into the city’s transport budget, and that this was purely as a measure to tackling city-wide pollution levels. The charge will cover every single road within the city centre, aside from the A4540 middle ring road; a perfect way to create a congestion zone.
Birmingham council’s own analysis into air quality found that the high pollution levels were responsible for shortening the lives of at least 900 residents.
A different route for Leeds
Leeds City Council will also be introducing a congestion charge, but amidst the plans, they have also stated that their end goal is to make the air breathable (rather than financial gain), so they’ll be looking to support businesses running HGVs or coaches with grants of up to £19,000 to retrofit emission reducing tech, equally, taxi drivers will be eligible for funding of up to £3,000 to help them swap over to electric or hybrid power.
Further still, the initial plan to charge £100 per day for the most polluting vehicles has been halved to just £50, and the restricted zone has also been reduced – this seems a genuine plan to try and address the issue of air quality, rather than penalise the motorist – they won’t be charging private motorists to enter the city.
There’s also talk of alternative measures such as ‘no idling’ zones outside schools and having car-free days within the city centre.
The bigger picture
Whilst the plans still need to be approved by Parliament, you’d say it was a rather safe bet that this will be happening on the proposed date in January 2020, and the question is – will this be extended to other areas?
Birmingham council runs under the West Midlands Combined Authority, which also controls Coventry, surely the next step is to roll the plan out to the extended reaches of the authority? Just as London is widening their ULEZ zone for 2021, taking in all of inner London, Birmingham will look to incorporate the surrounding cities as part of the ‘tackling pollution’ strategy.
Coventry City Council are under heavy criticism for the treatment of motorists as it is, with official bodies such as the Traffic Penalty Tribunal branding them “delusional, reminiscent of King Canute” in respect to parking restrictions, which have earned the council over £1.5 million. Will this be the Golden Egg for the council?
What about you?
Although still over a year away, the plans to introduce a congestion charging zone, Clean Air Zone, ULEZ, T-Charge or any other form of penalty to the motorist will have a very real effect on many of us. A great deal of families already monitor their spending closely as a result of increasing fuel costs, and paying a further £10 per day to enter a city centre isn’t going to make things easier.
Naturally, being in a city centre means there are good public transport links, but that’s still further cost, and if the taxi/bus/coach companies are adding an extra £100/day to their overhead, that cost will simply be passed on to the consumer, or it will force the taxi drivers out of town.
Adding a congestion charge to enter a city will simply push consumer prices upwards – imagine a small logistics company that has just ten HGVs delivering to a city centre, that’s £1,000/day or £365,000 per year increase in overhead – this is no longer just about the motorist, this is the UKs economy.
Can you think of better ways to reduce air pollution? Will a £10 charge prohibit you from entering a city centre? What sort of effect do you think this will have on the consumer economy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Cows and Sheep produce 10’000 times more greenhouse gases than diesel cars. Merchant ships and cruise liners produce 10,000,000 times more greenhouse gases than diesel cars.Some of the biggest city polluters are intact construction equipment such as cranes, JCBs etc. I’ve never heard any politician or environmental activist challenge this why ?
Not quite sue where you are getting your stats from but the answer is “Because they can’t make money out of them”….. Simple.
Your right of course, but think of the money the could make, but it’s easier to pick on the individual rather than the big monopolies I guess.
Because THE MOTORIST is the EASY target!
Exactly, and the reason they demonise diesels is that, because a diesel goes further on a gallon of fuel, they get less tax per mile.
Now that’s just ridiculous. If that were their logic they’d be demonising electric cars too. There is no tin foil hat conspiracy. They are demonising diesel because its been proven to have a terrible effect on our lungs.
Just wait till most cars are electric, do you really think you’re gonna get a free ride ? The govt get around £46billion a year off the UK motorist, someone has got to pay it ?
until they slap a 10% charging tax, and the utility companies hit you with another daily standing charge,
as they don’t plug in a 3 pin domestic socket. add to that 100s of cable strewn across pavements. 10,000% increase in nhs ambulance and a&e costs, massive insurance premiums for liability.
30m of extension leads on terraced streets where you mostly park away from your home.
add to that, the collapsing economies of the middle east, brazil, mexico and other south American countries.
WORLD WAR 3………………………………………………………………………..
But they’re not doing it in our city centres; cars are. The diesel problem isn’t about greenhouse gases anyway. It’s the particulate emissions that are killing people. We need to price diesels out of our cities and, hopefully bringing more money into public coffers, paid for by the hold outs.
But the modern diesel is the cleanest engine now with DPF and Adblue stuff they put on them now. And they still produce less CO2 than a petrol engine. The problem is older engines. Annoys me that they’re all grouped into the same pot.
Howard Millichap – who said modern diesels are now the cleanest engines? I’m reasonably certain that’s car company marketing you’ve heard. Was it Volkswagen?
Can we assume all these councils then will look to immediately clear their fleets of vehicles of diesel engines… will they ban the bin lorries, their diesel transits, will hearses with the “wrong” engine be banned from collecting dead bodies? Will transport ambulances be barred and their passengers dropped at the edge of the zone and told to find their own way back? Will delivery vans and lorries simply pass on all extra charges to the consumer.. i.e. me and you or will they refuse to deliver inside the zone… we live in idiotically interesting times.
Because they want common plebs out of cars and wont stop until only the privileged can afford any life worth living. That’s what carbon reduction is about, nothing to do with climate change.
And what about the huge airliners that fly into our Capital’s airports, minute after minute (1 every 20 seconds at Heathrow, 1 every 30 seconds at Gatwick)?? Just how much pollution do these behemoths kick out? 10 gallons of fuel burned every second per engine…that is a huge amount of CO2; who pays?
Yes, you guessed it…the motorist, in fuel duties, etc!
And now a third runway at Heathrow!!!!!!
In all fairness hydrogen planes and hybrid battery /kerosene planes are being worked on as we speak.
But they aren’t making NOx in the City Centre
The agriculture industry produces about 18% of global co2 emissions. Cars trucks and buses account for about 14%. How you figure that out to be TEN THOUSAND times as much I never bloody know. What articles have you been reading!
Yes, ships use the real cheap dirty stuff in their engines that are as big as a house, the pistons are so big you coukdn’t get your arms round them !!
Congestion charges are yet another way to ‘milk’ the motorists.
If clean air is so important to local authorities, why do they continue to erect large office blocks in Town/City centres which generate more traffic.
Public transport is not always convenient.?
Because if they moved it out of the city center it would be away from major train stations and it would be more difficult to centralise public transport making it difficult for people to use public transport to commute.
I used to work from an office which was away from the city center….nightmare to get to on public transport but nearly everywhere has a bus route to the center.
I will not be shopping in a city centre ever again if i have to pay congestion charge
Towns will become derelict no go areas in centres shops will shut down .pubs banks bettingshops .restaurents will all dissapear .like the specials song ghost town .
And I thought councils wanted to attract consumers into city centers. Clearly they’ve decided to send them to the out-of-town retail parks instead.
Leeds at least say “they won’t be charging private motorists to enter the city” … only time will tell if this actually happens.
Neither wonder there is death in the high streets across the country. First diesel was more economical now it’s being brandished as the worst fuel. How long before they don’t want electricity because the national grid can’t cope. All government officials can’t see past there noses and forward think. It’s the consumer to blame every time not the bampots who havnt got a brain and make these decisions .
Of course people like me who used to have a diesel but changed to an unleaded car are now deamonised because the CO2 levels are rising again…. Now, my petrol engined car is the problem. Well, working at the hospitals in manchester City Centre, if you put a charge on entering then I leave… good luck shouting down the gird for qualified clinical staff who cannot afford to pay the charge…
What do you think of Corridor Manchester?
I think it’s just another publicity stunt
Governments only see as far as the next election.
the govenment want every body to drive electric ok, so tomorrow we all go out and buy an electric car, now what do you do with the diesel which is a byproduct they will use it to run generating plants for the electric cars, just a thought.
Firstly, there aren’t enough total new cars available for everybody to go out tomorrow and replace their car with a new one. There are certainly not enough electric cars available – so while I’m super happy your eager to go and buy one tomorrow Sean, not everyone can.
And it’s a clever hypothesis to suggest that if there was a sharp and sudden switch to electric vehicles, that it would lead to a surplus of diesel which we could use to create electricity for those cars, it’s not going to happen, is it?
If we need more electricity, we build more electricity generation. And if you want to build more, you spend the least to get the most, right? That’s why the UK is installing loads of offshore wind power. You know our renewables keep increasing each year? In 2017 the UK ran on average 6% powered by coal. It’ll probably be 3% this year.
Could we not use horse and cart instead at least you could sell the horse dung to gardeners and less pollution so go to 100 years ago
I just won’t go simple as. Yes something needs to be done but not to the public or businesses. The country will be even more on its knees than it already is. Stop sending funding abroad!!!!!! We cannot afford it. Road tax stays on the road not funding other stuff, pensions stay in our pots not used for anything else. Taxes go to our OAP’s and Nat Health Service. NOT TO FOREIGN AID etc. Comes to something when someone’s sob story gets the high teckmh ops for free here yet those of us who pay for it get told no!!! Utterly sick of it. Also sick of having my retirement increased by 7 years to pay for it all while government becomes less accountable and the public have less and less say. They don’t want us to claim our pension, and while we are on that subject it is OUR pension that we have paid not some sort of free hand out. PAY up not rob us!!!!
No one will take any notice Sharon but you are spot on. I will vote for you.xxx
On the pension thing. You women wanted equal pay, equal rights, equal this, that and the other. And now you moan that your pension age matches that of a Man? I do however think it’s wrong that they moved the goal posts for those of us approaching retirement.
A fairer way would have been to move mens down and womens up by half the amount. That would achieve equality and not cut pension payments overall. Give and take rather than take and take.
Social Services £277bn
Overseas aid £13.4bn
Debt Interest £46bn
Total Govt expenditure £820bn
The first 3 have no financial return
Aid does. Countries then spend more with us then they otherwise would do so, although you are looking long term. “Teach a man to fish…”
Education has no financial return???
Yes of course they do, like India, who get handsome payouts, we tried to butter them up thinking they were going to buy our Sea Typhoon as promised for their new Supercarriers but at the last minute renagued on the deal stuck two fingers up and opted for the Chinese Chengdu J10A ( which is a better fighter anyway). Even their new carriers are better than our new HMS Queen Elizabeth, they laughed at us and said ” we don’t need your money, it’s peanuts anyway !
It’s no wonder town centres are ghost towns now… Motorists are getting sharper as they get milked more for cash!
So we bought diesels because the government encouraged us, silly us, now we have to pay AGAIN for their errors . It’s time to say enough is enough. I’m all for clean air and cutting congestion but when you live in the country with negligible public transport and ever decreasing facilities how are we supposed to manage? Finally why are we even considering the opinions of a bunch of un-elected clowns from Brussels who threaten fines etc. when we are walking away from them in just 9 months
Yes a bit like all the tripe about don’t eat fats, which are essential for good health, and the carbs are essential to develop diabetes and increase wt. I wonder if they knew the impact of their ‘health advice’ before they gave it. The other change is how normal healthy people are being put on medication due to the lowering of thresholds of blood pressure and blood sugar levels. This allows GPs to make more money and allows drug companies to sell far more drugs than ever before and yet we keep getting told NHS is crippled, bankrupted. I do wonder if the people who recommend NICE guidelines have their fingers in the drug companies pies.
How do you think GPs make more money from more diagnoses? They are paid a per head fee each year. Extra consultations take up time without any extra payment. GPs get the same payment for a person who consults 100 times a year as for one who never darkens the surgery door. They are desperately over stretched and don’t need the sort of nonsensical comment you have made.
SO you DON’T make MORE MONEY the more drugs you dish out?
NHS doctors don’t make more money by writing more prescriptions. What a ridiculous thing to say!
GP’s do get extra payments from the drug companies, that is why they issue Anti Chloresterol pills
Part of the changes brought in by Tony Blair was that doctors got extra payment for each proscription that they wrote the same changes allowed them to stop working 24/7 as they were doing before now some only work at most a 4day week
Bit naive to think that GP’s don’t push particular products . Why do you think drug company reps visit GP surgeries regularly? I think you might want to research your facts as regards the equal payment for regular patients and ones who don’t go to the surgery. Don’t know why a comment section on city diesel tariffs has mutated to a discussion on the merits of General Practitioners though. Off topic?
Spot on, Dr S
I totally agree , I stopped my medication 12 years ago since then no medication of any kind. I am better than ever, feel great just eat proper. I don’t take any doctors advise. I dont know how they arrive at the standards, If you look at DR Biswaroop roy Choudharys comment in you tube you will agree that there are some good doctors around who give correct advise.
They are keen to put us on pills for blood pressure and statins which GP’s got a bonus for, the blood pressure pills they put me on caused severe gout, the GP admited that and said I would suffer from osteoarthritis for rest of my life and I really have for last 25 years or so, never gave me pills to prevnt the gout until another GP said I should be on them, they were keen for me to take statins but never warned about the side effects which I could not cope with so I refused to take them anymore, the nurse told me some of the side effects may reduce a bit but never completely go away. How can I trust an NHS that treats me that way.
Sorry u have side effects from statins neither I or my wife do and as I have a triple by pass mostly due to genetics and she has a family history of hypertension we will stay on them . I am allergic to tetracyclines , anything you put into your body can cause a problem. Stop ranting ignorantly and engage brain . I do agree fats advice was wrong as it’s carbs that are killing us but wot do I know I drive a diesel.
2 yrs ago I was told I had type 2 diabetes. I adopted the Newcastle Diet & lost 3.5 stones in 3.5 months….my sugar is 3.8 for the past year & I don’t have a fatty liver or pancreas which produces T2 biabetes. I am off medication too. Less than a gram of fat on one’s pancreas can stop it producing insulin so get rid of the fat & insulin returns. Simples.
Excuse me chaps, but this site is about cars & petrol not cares & dettol.
The only way we are going to bring common sense back to this country is to vote for the correct party, but which one they are all a waste of time.
You have known for years that diesel is in trouble so why buy one? Is it because you don’t Care or didn’t it apply to you?
Nine years ago I bought my first ever diesel as the Government said they were the best thing since sliced bread. 5 years later, ent to a Motability diesel for 3 years during which time the tune was changing to diesel is the devil’s brew. After that it was back to unleaded petrol, far worse for people than the leaded fuel it replaced.
The national grid couldn’t take everybody going electric, nor are there anywhere near enough charging points, but let’s bash the motorists some more, they’re used to it.
This is a bit of a myth though isn’t it, diesels were never actively pushed, it was a side effect of changes to VED aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. A poor decision for sure as it didn’t factor in the extra pollutants produced by diesels, but it’s a stretch from that to saying they were the bestt hing since sliced bread. You bought it because VED was cheaper, and cheaper to run per mile.
You can charge electric cars using a regular 3 pin plug, pretty sure you could charge them at…well, every house in the country.
JB but then if we all got electric cars there’s the problem of disposing of old lithium batteries which is seldom mentioned……same bloody argument, decisions made for financial gain, as always
(Recycling) old lithium batteries has been mentioned loads of times. You can’t claim something hasn’t been discussed when you haven’t searched for those discussions in the first place.
What happens when there’s a power cut? Just asking?
That normally happens after about 30 miles in the electric cars…..maybe they think we will all get fitter having to push the things into the queue at the recharging point…. if you can find one.
Yes they were certainly pushed by the government who stated they generated much less pollution and after everyone bought one at their request they did an about turn.
How do I charge at my house as I live at the top of a block of flats, 14 stories up?
Yes the gov. knew before introducing unleaded that it would kill a certain number of people by cancer but they ignored it.
Never fill your car on the inside pumps always use the outside where the wind blow in.
so someone else knows that petrol is carcinogenic, as do the Americans, that is why the have a vacuum system on ther pumps to take away the fume.now jump back to 1940 in America trycoethalyne was a noted as a carcinogen we were using it in laundrys and other industrys for cleaning and you could buy it in drums up until I think 2000, so the government are not bothered about what petrol and diesel is doing to foder like us, just put the taxes up.
my diesel is over 4 years old they were still encouraging diesel then and with 63mpg instead of 40 it was at the time a no brainer
I bought a Skoda Octacia in 2013 & like you was encourged to go diesal…..65MPG cannot be a bad buy, can it ?
It’s not even about the mpg anymore, it’s about the NOx particulates that cause the health problems.
Peter. My wife bought her diesel 15 years ago when we were told by the then Government that they were the next best thing since sliced bread. So please don’t come out with a wild statement that we’ve known for years that diesel is (in) trouble. What I do think is a yet to be fully exposed problem is tyre wear dust and brake pad wear. We’ve all seen the evidence on the road surfaces and verges but seems to be quietly ignored. So Peter we did care – absolutely and we had no reason to think it would be a bad decision. In the event it seems that following a recent MOT our diesel would actually pass the new emission tests.
Absolutely right my friend.
Yes, we bought a new diesel in 2011 (Euro5)
Not now good enough for proposed ULEZs.
Changing to a small engined turbo car.
Might also get a 5.7litre C2 Corvette and drive it around just outside the zone.
Corvette would probably be ok in the zone, my V8 Mustang is 🙂
I have a Focus 1.6 Euro 5 diesel which for the last 20,000 has given 55mpg, my partner has a 1.0 turbo petrol Fiesta which manages 42mpg. Which is polluting more?
Depends on who you listen to – what’s worse, diesel particulates (big or small) or CO2, or NOx. Bit like the healthy eating debate, one minute salt is the devil, then it’s sugar, then it’s fat. I have the same car as you – I’m lucky to get 40mpg, then again my commute is 7 miles each way. I live in Greater Manchester – if they’d had spent the money on buses instead of trams they could have replaced every bus with luxurious version, all mod cons, latest technology and had enough spare to have REAL real time information and other infrastructure improvements. But no, they privatised the buses, and made the companies compete with each other instead of competing with private cars. Made it illegal for public authorities to invest in operating the buses, hence the local authority thinks the sun shines out of the back side of the trams. We now have our public transport policy dictated by a sportsman who made a living riding a bike!
Even if the mpg figures were identical the diesel would pollute less CO2 and the petrol would pollute less NOx.
That’s the problem with diesel. Not carbon dioxide – thats less than petrol – it’s the little particulates that enter your lungs and get stuck there leading to breathing disorders.
In any case mpg is a dated metric. We should follow most of Europe and start using grams CO2 per mile/km.
What makes you say that the EU parliament is unelected? The EU is more democratic than the UK government which has an unelected House of Lords and a hereditary head of state.
The EU parliament ‘may’ be elected but how many of us know the name of our MEP or actually care and how much influence to the UK MEPs have against the rest of Europe, Very little if any.
Yes but that parliament can’t make any laws only the un-elected can & do.
Yes, it’s the EU Commission that is unelected.
But thats what happens when you believe Labour idiots like Blair ….. he’s not exactly known for telling the truth is he?
Yer but what they don’t tell you is petrol is no better it was easy to pick on diesel cars coz not many don’t puff a bit off smoke , So let’s get em . Muppets
Petrol cars have much higher CO2 emissions but much much lower harmful particulate emissions.
For me, the real issue is, are hundreds of people dying prematurely as a result of vehicle pollution. If they are something needs doing urgently. I take the point about government encouragement to buy diesel vehicles, but this was long before it was realised the seriously polluting effect they had. I doubt any government would have recommended a path if it was known to be as dangerous as it now seems to be.
Surely all the ‘public’ transport vehicles will have to convert as well, or pay increased levies to stop us getting the buses?
I agree totally with what you are saying how the politicians can get it so wrong time after time. People have invested so much money on their recommendations and now they want us to pay for there mistakes.
Wouldn’t it be a better idea if the politicians invested a large amount of their time and our money in trying to find a better solution, as it was their fault in the first place that we bought diesel cars.
Is it not possible for a design engineer to design a filter system that could extract the polluting fumes before it reached the air, that would attach to the exhaust system and the filters could be renewed at will.
It would save a mountain of scrapped diesel vehicles and an enormous waste of money. But then they are used to wasting our money without a conscience.
Let’s have an Honest Party reacting sensibly and find a better solution!
Its the consummer that will altimatly pay, ALL items will increase without favour even for those that would be excempt. Get rid of the aras that help congestion like uneccessary traffic lights etc. Moving traffic is less polluting than stationary ones. Most councils are guilty of creating congestion and thus pollution by their stupid ideas.
If we’re coming out of the EU why are we still announcing these measures?
The Government has said that as far as possible these standards will still apply.
Polluted air is a killer – it affects everyone who lives or works in city. Why would you think the UK would have lower standards than other places?
Environmental standards should be decided using common sense & informed science by our elected politicians; not by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. Remember that in our legal system, everything is allowed until explicitly not allowed BUT the EU operates the other way around, that everything is not allowed until explicitly allowed. I am very uncomfortable with the consequences for example that ‘Derris’ is now banned; not because it is dangerous to the environment but because no company has a patent to enable them to recoup the costs of proving it to be safe to the EU’s satisfaction. Derris used to be used to kill aphids & had been used in organic farming. Removing old tried & tested products such as Derris only clears the way for new untried products to have a greater environmental impact if things go wrong! So no I do not trust Brussels to get it right!
its got nothing to do with brussels, its the targets UK.gov set for themselves under the Kyoto/Paris agreements. EU5/6 Diesels are still better for the environment than standard mix electricity.
Then why are the EU looking to impose fines? You reckon their just chancers sticking their nose in to make a few bob?
You’ve got it!
Standard UK mix electricity is about 270g CO2 per kWh.
Even big heavy electric cars like a Tesla achieve, for your average driver who likes a bit of hard acceleration and 80 mph motorway driving, around 3 miles per kWh. That’s 90g/mi CO2.
Convert into km and you get 55g CO2/km. Compare that to an efficient diesel which gets 90-100g CO2/km.
Note that this accounts for electricity production but doesn’t account for diesel production, so electric is further beneficial if you start to analyse the process in more detail.
I don’t know what articles you’ve been reading but there’s not a snowballs chance diesel is greener than our current UK grid mix. Not by a long shot.
Completely concur with Will – here’s the UK grid mix (today running at 170 g CO2/kWh:
BURNING FOSSIL FUELS TO PRODUCE THE ELECTRIC…..NO BRAINER YEAH……
FFS USE COMMON SENCE……. NO BODY WILL BE DRIVING ELECTRIC CARS AS EVERYBODY WILL BE AT HOME WITH BROKEN BONES AND SERIOUS SPRAINS FALLING OVER 1000S OF CABLES ACROSS PAVEMENTS AND STREETS WHERE YOU HAVE NO DRIVEWAY………
USE COMMON SENCE……..ITS DOOMED BEFORE IT STARTS
Woah – back that claim up with a link please! Better for what environment? How are they better (by what metric)? And are you talking about the standard mix UK national grid? I somehow doubt that…
I’m not sure what you mean. Brussels aren’t telling us exactly how to achieve our targets; they’re just setting them. Even after brexit we’re still agreed to the Paris accord.
Keith’s right – we should stop using common sense and informed science unless it’s imposed by elected politicians! /s
Partly because as you rightly point out, we are still members of the EU and partly because of the Paris agreement. Having said that wether or not we are members of the EU won’t change the fact that we have air pollution and that *something* needs to be done about it. Of course this may not be the best solution or even a solution at all. I’m sure your local mp would be very interested to hear of a potential alternative. Why not post it here
too so we can all forward it to our MPs.
‘Something’ is to decentralise and have housing, work, retail and leisure all reachable from each other without needing cars. Out Councils are busy creating zones for each of these which need cars to get to. This has been going on for years and no-one is prepared to challenge it – Why? One guess is £sd – sorry £p
Make buses and trams more reasonable.
It is cheaper for me to insure and run my car than to pay for a tram and a bus to get to work (not to mention the10 min car journey compared to 30 to 50 mins on public transport!)
Spot on Laura. The assumption by most othe peple making these decisions is that everyone lives in a town/city, is within easy reach of a train station or bus route and that said trains or buses run on a schedule that is convenient for travelers (there is a laugh). This is not the case for a huge number of us. In my own case, I live 13 miles from my place of work and my car journey takes 25 minutes on a slow day. If I was to take public transport I would end up being sacked for poor timekeeping, I would be lucky to arrive at work 3 days out of 5. Even my best option by bus and train would take approximately 3 hours and involve catching a bus (that is rarer than hens teeth) taking a train then catching another bus and finally walking a mile. It is a journey that would be so costly that I would be pennyless after the first month.
Try a bike!
360 days a year in the weather we have most of the time? Get REAL!
For short journeys why not? What would your solution(s) be?
Amazing the amount of people ask me how i cycle to work in the cold.
Anybody who rides a bike knows being cold is not a problem, waterproof jacket and some winter gloves is always warm.
I bet your one of the green party that cycle with the kids to the 2 different schools a mile apart then cycle 10 miles to work and on the way back pick up shopping for the family. If only everyone could think like you.
The world would be a great place to live
Ha ha I’m 32 miles from my place of work in Cornwall up and down hills of over 600 feet it would be impracticable for a fit and healthy person I’m 60 with arthritis in legs hips and hands so you get on your bike
Try delivering 40 tons of food n other essentials on a bike!
Be a hell of a lot easier to do that in a lorry if the roads were not congested with people using private cars for short journeys though wouldn’t it?
Country roads are not that congested – it is the cities and large towns that are congested – the very places where people do not need a car because of good public transport.
While many people could use a bike but don’t not everyone can. Firstly there are many older people now being forced through pension laws to work longer and longer and they are not all able to use a bike so they have to rely on either the car or inefficient and expensive public transport that that only takes them to the town centre where they have to get another slow and expensive bus or train out to the place they work. This will become a more common problem as more businesses move out of town where they refuse to pay the planned council levies.
Some people (of all ages) have mobility problems and a car is the only practical way to travel anywhere unless they go into the town centre. They may be able to find what they want there for now but as the proposed levy bites then those facilities will move out of town.
Many people are too scared to use a bike on the public highway and even with cycle ways and cyclists riding (illegally) on pavements they do not feel safe even if they are fit enough.
Some people have to commute 30 or 40 miles to work. That is not their fault, its just the way things worked out and they may not be able to afford to buy or rent in the place near their work. So what’s your solution – make them give up work and find a low paid job near their home? Of course then they might not be able to afford the rent or mortgage and have to down size their home and the downward spiral continues….
Moped, scooters or small motorcycles are the answer. Faster than a car in traffic and therefore produce less pollution because they keep moving so journey times are less. And it has been proved in studies that when there are more Powered Two Wheelers (PTW) on the road, there are less accidents.
I would love to see my 90 year old Mum on a moped going to do the shopping…. Not going to happen…. she goes in my car..
There are less accidents because they bung up already slow moving city roads, scare car drivers and drive on the pavements to ignore the traffic lights – agreed? Pedestrians can jump out of their way – 4 wheelers cannot.
UNTIL THE IDIOTS WEAVE THROUGH TRAFIC, COME OFF AND CLOSE THE ROAD, CAUSING GRIDLOCK FOR 1000S OF DRIVERS
ON YOUR BIKE
I LIVE IN DEVON and my car broke down and the part could not be sourced before i needed to get to Gatwick Airport>
It worked out CHEAPER to buy and tax a car than pay for “Public” transport! (taxi, Bus, then Train, and reverse for comng home.
Get rid of the bus and get trolleybuses back – all electric. The communist regimes had subsidised and cost-efficient transport – perhaps we have something to learn from them.
With the development of retro fit hydrogen fuel cells for all vehicles, I am personally staggered by the lack of government support for this scheme.
The retro fit fuel cell illiminated up to 99% of all harmful emissions and only needs 1 ltr of water for every 1,000 miles.
The HOD Hydrogen on demand system is safer than petrol, as it is only generated when it’s called for by the accelerator. This technology has been around for a long while.
Yes it can give you an improved mpg but pollution wise, there is nothing better.
I went on a full training course for this some years ago, and fitted one to my old 1999 deseil passat 1.9tdi and took it to my garage for an emission test. After sitting in the waiting room, I heard the tester screaming my car engine. When I when to ask what the problem was, he said either my car or his equipment was not work as it should. At this point I switched of the HOD and he tried again. Now he was happy that I was poluting correctly. We then began discussing the HOD.
CAN SOME TELL ME WHY WE IGNORE WHAT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF US?
GARY I SUGGEST you watch this and read the comments! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJS8JFIqhh4
But I am not talking about fuel consumption, I can find 20 video that would contradict any view point on YT. But NO one disputes the benefit of 90% reduction in bad emissions via HHO. Even the university of Nottingham have confirm it in writing FOR ALL 2 SEE.
If motorists would just turn their engines off when stationary, which so few ever do, this would not be necessary. I frequently see people sitting in cars in car parks with the engines running. It is selfish and ignorant. I turn mine off at traffic lights and in traffic jams. It really isn’t that hard.
Its not that simple. When you start an engine in the normal way it uses more fuel that if it is just idling. The cars that have the stop-start technology built in at the factory have a management system to get around this problem. If your car is not designed that way its a bit of a lottery as to whether you will pollute more or less by switching off your engine and restarting manually when the lights go green.
Firstly unless you know how long the lights will be on red or amber you don’t know when it will be more efficient to switch or or when its better to idle. If you know the lights in your area you might be able to plan this but not unless you saw the lights go red. Even then councils sometimes change traffic light sequences for different times of the day.
Secondly there will be more drivers who stall and cause traffic jams while they get going again. It is well known that traffic jams are one of the worst causes of polluted air while all the cars are standing waiting to go and of course the resulting traffic jam will back up at busy times thus compounding the problem.
I live in Leeds and I find I can’t go anywhere without going over speed humps, which I think causes pollution by slowing down and speeding up. If Leeds are serious about air quality let’s get rid of the speed humps and lets see if it is not just to make money.
With some exceptions you have to slow down because you are travelling faster than the speed humps allow.
Yeah, they install the wrong speed humps. If the limit is 30mph you should be able to go over a speed hump at 30 without wrecking your car but invariably you can’t and have to slow down to 15mph or so. It’s all counter productive.
I find if you travel at a level speed of twenty miles an hour you have no need to apply your brakes and then sped up to get on your way.
It is win win ,less pollution and your vehicle is not damaged in any way.
If all cars where built exactly the same then yes, I would agree with you Ken…but they’re not! I have to slow down to around 10 mph in my car so it doesn’t fell like I’m hitting bricks in the road, whilst the company car I use you hardly feel the bumps at any speed!
But if the limit is 30………. the speed humps should allow you to do 30.
Sorry Ken – speed humps still damage your suspension at 20mph, and if you have joint problems, they just hurt at any speed. Going at 20 encourages people to walk out in front of you because they have been told that a 20mph speed limit is ‘safe’ whatever that means.
OMG 20 mph I’ve broken all four of my springs TWICE & one three times at 10mph.
They have speed bumps on the road off my estate down to the town centre, you see so many people who will pull into the middle of the road to pass between the speed bumps… saves having to slow down and speed up and saves wear and tear on your car. Of course you cant do it if there is oncoming traffic…!
Any additional charges are a charge many poor impoverished people cannot afford, and in rural areas a car -however old- is essential part of life. It is a bit like saying you can retire when you get to 68 and not before, well if you are rich enough you can retire when you want, or drive where you want. Additional costs never impact on those who can afford it.
Yet another motoring stealth tax to fill coffers of overspending councils, why not close retail in cities/towns and restart providing out of town again with free parking? Councils overcharging for centre parking are halfway there already.
I suggest that modern tramways be re-instated, I live in Worcester which used to have trams but doesn’t now.As an interim step get rid of diesel buses and move to hydrogen/electric ones, make all taxies hydrogen/electric powered. Of course this will never happen as councils want to retain all the income from private cars by increasing taxes, the environment is a secondary priority.
Does anyone else remember in Manchester they used to have “trolly buses”. Buses that were attached to electric overhead cables and drove on the roads as we do now.
Would this not reduce the pollution from these “diesel” powered buses
London used to have them too – and so do many European cities.
Glasgow announced a similar LEZ this year, starting with buses/taxis, and extended to private motorists within 4 years. As someone who works in the city, but with no public transport options for the times I need to be there (4am starts or 2am finishes) I have no option other than the car. A car that will not be compliant and will attract a fine if it enters the LEZ. A car that will still be being paid for, but has effectively been devalued. Given most of us cannot afford to just run out and buy a new vehicle, one can only presume that the council’s that decide these things have only one agenda…and it isn’t the health of the population.
Would definitely avoid all but critical journeys to those cities.
This will also impact on retailers who are going to the wall on a daily basis.
They are Anne, but it’s not a lack of diesel drivers causing the bricks and motor retail decline in the UK. It’s competition online. Mainly from Amazon.
London has proved that charges don’t work. The designer traffic jams to force people onto public transport has only served to increase pollution.
Improved planning and more efficient public transport , routes planned for transport in and out of cities, bus routes to serve the public not the opporator and cut down on the stop start traffic lights.
Shefield once boasted as the cleanest city before these the money making schemes were introduced, look at it now.
Also Jim, in London the public transport is subsidised to a massive degree…. £1.50 will take you almost all the way across London… here in manchester £1.50 takes you around 3 stops, assuming you can find a bus to sit on.
Let’s hit the motorist again while I applaud authorities in wanting cleaner cities what about the hundreds of buses, taxi’s and HGV’s that are in our city centres daily. Buses are one of the biggest causes of congestion due to bus lanes standing empty while motorist queue, then there’s cycle lanes what revenue do cyclist generate None and cash strapped authorities are ploughing money in building cycle lanes that like bus lanes stand empty is it a case of local authorities and central government just bowing to those in Europe it’s time to hand back the roads to the motorist who are taxed to the hilt.
I’m against congestion charges full stop. However, as well as being a motorist I’m also a cyclist, and it is a fact that if you build GOOD cycling infrastructure, ie not simply a white line along the edge of a busy road, then they do get used.
Sorry, there are some good cycle lanes in my town (as well as the rubbish ones), but they don’t get used. The cyclists us the main carriageway.
We have a wide cycle lane, away from the road, near us. The lycra clad morons never use it, preferring to use the road, and deliberately blocking motorists!
I ride a bike but do not consider myself a moron by doing so. It is you that give motorists a bad name. You selfish moron!
This is the problem, morons do not think they are morons! We can all see the faults of others.
Cyclists also use pavements….arrogant lot.
We need to do more to encourage people to walk and cycle. Better, safer cycle lanes would be an advantage. Also help to purchase a good quality light weight bike of the correct size that is actually enjoyable to ride.
Cheaper reliable public transport might encourage more people to use it.
I did all my using of public transport and walking for over 40 years. I am now OLD and need a car as the local transport system does not even take me close to the shops, and I could not carry the shopping and no I do not want to shop online, I like to see what I am buying and get out of the house. I am sick of people saying we should all get on bikes, not everyone can cycle or walk
In North Wales you are lucky if you have a bus service and if you can travel at convenient times. There are no evening service buses. If like me you arr two miles from the nearest bus stop., the car is your only choice
The usual greedbags’ usual “eco” excuse for ripping money off the public . I for one am sick and tired of being overtaxed and paying over the odds (eg to subsidise “green” electricity or “green” electric cars, nearly all of which use the same power sources as the rest of us–and anyone who thinks that generating electricity (from oil, say) well away from cities does not produce just as much volume of residues as any oil power-station anywhere needs to look up his schoolbooks.
Looking at electric cars, google the “child miners of cobalt in the DRC” and see the kids, some as young as 8 digging cobalt for your sparking little electric car batteries, so you can be smug thinking your saving the world whilst these children die…. but you cant see them so they simply dont matter do they
The money taken from the charge arising from private motorists should be used to provide free public transport into the city from Park & Ride schemes
Will LPG converted cars be included intros tax as they are still bi fuel?
Obviously the extra runway at Heathrow, that this Government have just voted for, won’t cause any extra air pollution as the planes will be flying on fairy dust! 🤔
“Issued a warning in January of THIS year”? Why on earth are we still taking ANY notice of what bureaucrats we’ve nevr heard of say?
Wow, so many people complaining about the laws being introduced by the idiots in power.
Oh wait….who put those idiots in power in the first place?
None of us did…this is coming from Brussels. That is why the majority (all be it a slim one) voted to leave the EU so that the UK Government could, once again, set UK laws.
(And that would be the EU that the UK never voted to join too; back in the early 70’s (73?) the UK joined the EEC not the EU which was created in 93)
Perhaps its time we all started to tell those that want our vote that they won’t get it if they don’t start considering what the majority of people want. I suggest that we might try for a couple of years that we don’t vote for anyone if none of the candidates offer the policies we want.
Even if your councilor or MP actually believes you are right and wants to vote your way in a meeting, they can’t because of the very undemocratic party political whipping system that forces them to vote the way the party bosses tell them. Their only choice then is to vote against the whip and damage their political career which few politicians have the guts or honesty to do.
The trouble is that we rely on party politics as the practical way to create a govt. By doing that you get the downside that you vote for a package. Some bits you might like, some bits you don’t. Added to that is the fact that politicians are not bound to the policies that got them elected. They are allowed to change their mind and adopt different policies or drop the ones you liked without any reference to you. As they say its not practical to run the country by referendum – look what happened at the last referendum when there was a tiny majority (probably fixed) to sail out into the wide blue yonder of free trade hoping that there is no big storm out there.
So even if we tried to use our vote to change things that govt do the reality is that only about 10% of the population live in a constituency that might actually change who gets into power. The rest of us can vote how we please and it makes absolutely no difference unless we did it en-mass which is very unlikely.
Yet another tax on the motorist while the big polluters are still getting away with it. I hate driving in cities and only paid the congestion charge in London when I had to travel there for work. If congestion charges are rolled out I will just avoid the areas and spend more time in the countryside. I would happily buy an electric car if I could afford one and it had enough power to take me where I needed to go
I just bought a Nissan leaf. getting 160 miles of range with normal driving. charge for free at work, no road tax to pay for pothole ridden surfaces (I still pay road tax on my other car though), and best of all no 80% tax at the fuel pump. got on board whilst its still good. even charging at home is very cheap.
Mark…. just wait untill the politicians see their taxes dropping and decide they are about to milk your wallet… Didnt they do the same with LPG? Killed it off before many converted and stopped paying taxes.
That’s good – but I cannot afford one of these – with all this fuss my perfectly serviceable 05 diesel is worth £500 if I am lucky.
All this is destroying town centre shopping with many shops suffering from the reduction of customers entering cities. We do not have a government working on behalf of small businesses, local government and everyday people. Never mind big money being spent on high speed rail lincs, it instead should go into reviving towns & cities and big issues like air pollution instead of passing the problem onto local authorities & cutting central government grants.
By the way (re Coventry) King Canute was not delusional – he has been seriously misrepresented. He wanted to illustrate the fact that earthly crowns and powers are impotent against the universal laws designed by God!
Tell the European union where to go hopefully we will be free from them soon . Congestion charges are just a rip off tax under another name
Ridiculous blinkered civil service approach that can’t see out of the box. If the existing road planning does not enable easily flowing traffic then it is not the traffic but the road system at fault. Get new planners – no excuses, the existing road and traffic planners have failed. Revise the road system, convert to many one way circuits, short time stopping on one side of road only, heavy penalties for blocking traffic flow, remove bus/taxi lanes, just keep traffic flowing, require all taxis to be electric vehicles within three years. Cost less than an expensive congestion monitoring and charging system that only succeeds in removing funds from the market into wasteful governmental control. Aim to just keep traffic moving steadily.
I have a diesel car. I pay no road tax because the CO2 emissions are so low. Now they suggest it creates more pollution. What planet are these idiots on? It is a money making scheme, pure and simple. I for one will simply go somewhere else to do my shopping. Another nail in the coffin of the high street.
I was waiting for this to happen, last night on a visit to the local Lidl , which has 2 free charging points. 3 people trying to charge their cars, at times this became quite heated when one was a long time as they had gone next door to finish off their shopping. You can keep your stupid electric cars. I’ll will continue to sit on the side-lines and drove off in my diesel car laughing all the way home. Although the Greensters are up in arms regarding emissions, when everyone has been told to buy electric cars, they are doing nothing regarding congestion so you will be sat in your fantastic electric car stuck in a gridlock situation with one eye on the battery condition meter getting lower and lower. Don’t panic pushing your car home is even greener and will give you a work out at the same time.
those people were muppets. I wouldn’t even bother. its so cheap to fuel I would just drive home and do it there. not worth wasting my time waiting. I have never waited for a charger, never will.
You obviously can afford more than a flat to live in can’t you? this means you can have a charging point at home. Good, use it and leave the public charging points to people less well off and less arrogant than you.
City centres should only allow large commercial vehicle deliveries between 10.00pm, midnight in London until 7.00 am. That’s to shops, building sites etc. There’s less traffic on the roads, so less if any congestion & therefor no idling in traffic which would reduce pollution. Few if any pedestrians around breathing in fumes directly.This would free up roads in the day time. Need to penalise bus companies & taxis to get them off diesel. The fact that buses carry more people doesn’t justify allowing local bus companies to get away with it.
Norman, and just how are these lorries all going to be tipped in that most gracious time period you’re allowing us? This country, due to the requirements n needs of its huge population desnsity has one of the best organised logistical setups in the world with purpose built distribution centres within a few miles of major routes and deliveries scheduled to within an half hour time slot (in most cases) and this means we can stagger deliveries through the 24 hr available. Every single thing in your house n life probably arrived via a truck!
And then you come up against another EU directive. The “Quiet Period” between 11pm and 7am which is why you’re not supposed to sound your horn within those times. All those trucks banging about the place keeping everyone awake would be great eh?
I read an article about emissions in London. By far the biggest Co2 pollution came from gas central heating which could be much easier be takled than vehicles by upgrade incentives on boilers replacements.
I can’t remember exact figures, but I believe petrol vehicles contributed 8% diesel 11% gas heating 16%.
Bearing in mind most buses, taxis & lorries run on diesel I suspect cat 5&6 diesel cars contribute a very small proportion of that 11%, yet demonised! We told by government to be green, payed a premium to buy efficient diesel cars & due to their unreasonable demonisation, used prices have been badly hit leaving little residual in a car to move on.
Oxford street I believe is the 2nd most polluted Rd in Europe, but it is closed off to public access & so supports the issue that it is more to do with busses, taxis & lorries who need targeted support.
Further more Bosh have a device that will reduce nox emmision to. arround 10%. So we need government joined up incentives to add those to diesels & replacement boilers for now.
Electric needs a lot more consideration as fuel has to be produced by something coal or nuclear & there is a whole debate on that. Pollution & disruption to intall charging points & so on plus 10 years of equivalent pollution it takes to make a car! Hydrogen still needs better investigation being produced from water, its clean but of course no tax raised from that!!
Ultimately don’t penalise the end
user. Get joined up research & policy right first.
Simple answer ,close all shops in towns and cities. All shops to be out of town ,and all residents to collect their gorceries by bicycle.
And of course you would let the disabled starve! Life is never that simple.
Fuel prices always go up quickly on theslightest rumour and come down very very slowly . Unlike the EU where the fuel price goes up and down very quickly .
Issue every resident in inner cities with face masks so they don’t breath in the pollution. Its what they do in Japan.
Probably the final nail in the coffin for the high st. I bet amazon are rubbing there hands with glee.
First one might observe that as we are leaving the EU we should be able to ignore any fines they may wish to impose upon us. Having said that, I thought the government had already decided to phase out even current hybrid vehicles; never mind the rest. Charging us to enter towns on top of the sadly inevitable parking charges & restrictions, will just finish killing off our town centres. For every interference in our lives by those who govern us, there are usually undesirable consequences.
If these cities are so anti diesel, in line with the government thinking , why does my wifes 1-6 Hyundau Petrol get charged more Tax than my 2-0 litre diesell X3. lets face it its a farce that’s designed to get them all income.
Why don’t they just come clean, and perhaps charge us all so much a mile, that way the biggest guzzlers and the higher mileage road users will pay their fair share, not 2 O.A.P’s
This is all tripe.
The EU fining us is what the european project is about, the 4th reich.
Take all from the wealthier nations and redistribute it to the poor idle money grabbing east whilst exempting the germans.
Get out, stay out and watch it disintergrate.
We all know that these schemes have nothing to do with public health and everything to do with providing additional funding for council projects.
As with council tax, joe public gets to pay for council follies
I can see a whole new black market in blank number plates to attach to your car, or a rotatable number plate attachment being made available, to circumnavigate having to pay the charges.
I live in a cornwall village work is 32 miles away and no public transport the village has 1 bus a day well 5 days a week at 10am back at 2am but goes to 2 different towns on alternative days nearest station 45 miles nearest hospital 42 miles away if i were to go to london to see relative’s i need to book at least 3 months ahead otherwise its up to £225 one way for the train but only £95 one way by plane however thats 69 miles away. These people making the decisions need to understand that there is life outside the concrete jungle of the cities
People will just go and shop in cities that don’t have these charges instead.
People doing this will increase the business profits in these other cities meaning Birmingham and Leeds will suffer the loss of revenue.
Unfortunately this will also lead to increased congestion and pollution for other cities.
are they still trying to flog this clap trap! they tried to get Manchester to have a con charge and it was wholeheartedly rejected in the referendum. even with the public transport improvement bribes they had on offer.
why? because financially it would destroy the city. most commercial vehicles that deliver goods are diesels and it does not look like that’s changing for a good while.
so costs of living in the city center would rise dramatically. its common sense!
only London could survive such an increase because its stuck in its own little bubble.
oh and strangely enough all the public transport improvement bribes in Manchester actually happened anyway! even though they said we wouldn’t get them if we voted no!
The problem is I bet the good folk of Birmingham and Leeds (and anywhere else they try to introduce this) won’t get a referendum like Manchester did.
I work as a self employed sameday courier. If I enter these zones to collect or deliver goods I would have to pay the charge then add it too the customers bill (most businesses pay a month later if I’m lucky). If they start introducing them all over the place then potentially I could be shelling out a fair bit of dosh each week on top of my fuel, insurance, etc. The job could then become unviable for small concerns like me because of cashflow. There will then be a ripple effect because the larger concerns i.e. TNT, City Sprint, Royal Mail Sameday all use self employed contractors like me as they have few or even no employed drivers.
Public transport in this country is a farce. It’s overpriced and in many cases unreliable.
I do agree that pollution is a bad thing but personally I can’t see that these charges will solve anything.
The bottom line is that politicians have to have something shout about at the next election. It they don’t change something while they are in power then they can’t shout about it and have to make something up. So its much easier for the politician to find a fashionable cause to support, especially if it brings cash into their coffers then at election time they can make lots of claims about how effective they are. It matters little if the change helped or hindered their voters as long as they can say they did something.
This will stop me from having a Job, My diesel car is a 2013 Toyota, in Birmingham they intend to charge to private motorest but if you a a private cab then driving the same vehicle is acceptable. Scandal’s as the government encouraged all of us to get green diesel cars then allow stealth tax as cash cows what a rubbish country.
Struggling tax payer
A congestion charge would certainly stop me going into town .
And how many of these cities have introduced or require hydrogen or natural gas-powered engines on their public transport? Central London is packed with taxis, buses and coaches that belch black smoke and that could all change if Transport for London insisted on hydrogen power and that the bus companies were also required to retail hydrogen to the public. I visited Melbourne 15 years ago and saw that ALL of that city’s public transport was gas-powered. Melbourne is small compared to London so why doesn’t London step up to the plate and spend some of its money rather than expecting motorists to bear the brunt of combating air pollution.
All these areas..have a high population of foreigners driving old Nissan diesel cars..