The Government now has an eight-month deadline to come up with a proposal to tackle harmful air pollutants. A high court judge in London has ruled that their original and current plan is inadequate and must be improved upon.
Limits for nitrogen dioxide (N02) were brought in by EU law in 1999, and were to be achieved by 2010.
At a hearing on Monday, Mr Justice Garnham stated that a new plan to bring air pollution within legal limits must be drawn up by July 2017.
He has given the Government until April 24 next year to produce a draft version of the plan, and July 31 to deliver the final one.
On November 2, the judge – ruling on a judicial review action brought by environmental lawyers ClientEarth – stated that the 2015 Air Quality Plan (AQP) was legally flawed.
Campaigners want a national network of clean air zones to be in place by 2018 in cities across the UK.
James Thornton, the chief executive of ClientEarth, said after the hearing: “It is very clear that the Government must now act swiftly and decisively to protect British people from toxic and illegal air pollution.
“Now is the time for the Government to prove that it truly cares about people’s health and the environment and take decisive action to tackle illegal air pollution in this country.”
So will this mean that diesel cars are further victimised, especially since the emission tampering unearthed by major car manufacturers? If vehicles with more harmful emissions are targeted as a result this could ultimately mean that the motorist will have to pay more in road tax and even on their annual car insurance. Watch this space come July 2017!