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Liverpool looks to introduce crackdown on diesel vehicles with Clean Air Zone

Liverpool looks to introduce crackdown on diesel vehicles with Clean Air Zone

Liverpool is the latest city to reveal plans to crackdown on diesel vehicles entering the city with introduction of a Clean Air Zone by 2022.

The city’s Mayor Joe Anderson has asked for a report to be drawn up to detailing a series of measures to tackle air pollution - including a low emissions zone targeted at diesel and large vehicles.  

Amid increasing nationwide concerns about the impact of diesel vehicles on air quality - and against a background of calls for a diesel car scrappage scheme to be introduced with government support - Mr Anderson said: “Liverpool City Council will work with our expert partners locally and across the country both to look at the impacts of introducing a Clean Air zone, which by 2022 will introduce restrictions on diesel vehicles on our roads, and to lobby for national government reforms such as the reintroduction of the scrappage scheme.    

“By 2025 I want the city to have developed a central heart where walking, cycling, electric vehicles and clean fuels will dominate, and from which polluting diesel traffic will be discouraged.”  

With other cities planning, or being told by the government, to introduce Clean Air Zones before that date Mr Anderson continued: “It will also be important to introduce these changes in order to stop older, dirtier vehicles that have been banned in other cities from being relocated to Liverpool.”

Example Areas of investigation

Introducing a low emissions zone targeted at diesel and large vehicles that could restrict their movements at certain times of day or ban them outright          
A commitment to change Liverpool City Council’s fleet of vehicles to electric or low emission ones.


Consultation on changing taxi licencing to a scheme similar to London’s           

Instruct Merseytravel to work with the City Mayor on a strategy that helps bus companies that operate within the city to move to low emission standards


Changes to parking facilities to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points, while increasing charges for diesel vehicles.

Liverpool City Council will bring a report to Cabinet in early June that will highlight plans for introducing the measures.  

Dr Tim Barlow, technical manager, air quality and emissions at TRL (Transport Research Laboratory), believes Clean Air Zones or charging to enter an urban area will have a greater impact on improving air quality than a diesel scrappage scheme.  

He said this week: “Diesels are very efficient, with low fuel consumption and low CO2 emissions. However, they can produce high quantities of NOx and PM, both of which are of concern to public health, making them unsuitable to urban environments, especially if they are mainly used for short, slow trips.

“Suddenly banning diesel cars and vans would cause hardship for many people and businesses, but there does need to be a plan in place that has plenty of lead time. For example, a good local scheme could be to discourage diesel cars and vans from the area by charging them more on top of any existing fees, such as parking charges or charges to enter an urban area (congestion charge; clean air zones etc.).”  

Denis Naberezhnykh, TRL’s head of ultra-low emission vehicles and energy, added: “TRL agrees that there is a clear need to reduce the amount of diesel cars on the UK’s roads, particularly in cities, and further accelerate the take up of ultra-low emission vehicles that can help to reduce transport-related pollution and emissions.  

“However, it will take a significant amount of time to transition a sufficiently large proportion of the UK car parc to ultra-low emission vehicles to have a substantial impact on pollution.  

“Therefore, to yield a more immediate impact, we agree that the government should be considering short and medium term measures to accelerate removal of the most polluting 
vehicles, in addition to encouraging ultra-low emission vehicle take up. Diesel scrappage schemes, ultra-low emission zones and revised taxes could all be used and would have a more immediate impact, especially in cites and urban areas. The longer-term aim should be to continue supporting ultra-low emission vehicle take-up and targeted deployment of charging infrastructure.”