Doctors call for diesel car ban

Doctors Against Diesel claim 9,400 Londoners die prematurely every year, with diesel fumes due to blame in part. 

Paris and Madrid have committed to a ban on diesel vehicles by 2025, as have Athens and Mexico City.

But many people believe that the campaign say the plans are not only impractical, but could backfire in a big way.

Doctors Against Diesel includes doctors, nurses and other health professionals. They want to get Sadiq Khan, London’s Mayor, to commit to phasing out diesel vehicles from London.

While the Mayor has already suggested he will ban diesel buses by 2018, his spokesman says he has no legal powers to ban cars. However Mr Khan is calling on the government to implement a national diesel scrappage scheme.

In London, nearly 40% of all nitrogen oxides emissions and PM10 pollution, which is linked to decreased lung function, derives from diesel vehicles, according to the campaign.

A spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) stated that the industry is investing billions to reduce emissions and the latest diesel cars are the cleanest in history. Its figures claim emissions of nitrogen oxides have reduced by 84% since 2000, while new filter technology can capture 99% of all soot particles from diesel engines.

The glaring issue here is that diesel is used by the majority of commercial vehicles in the UK and many emergency services vehicles. Not to mention the majority of the taxi fleets in major cities in the UK. Within ten years if this continues we may find that it is extremely difficult to insure diesel vehicles at all.