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Governments should think long and hard before introducing anti-diesel policies, says Glass's

Date: 23 June 2015   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Knee-jerk reactions to studies showing negative impacts of diesel air quality could be counterproductive and affect vehicle sales, Glass's has warned.

According to the valuations experts, central Government and local authorities should think hard and look at facts before making major changes in the name of achieving green environmental improvements.

Rupert Pontin, head of valuations said that while some older vehicles emit more nitrogen oxide, those that meet the latest emissions standards are nearly as clean as petrol vehicles.

"We have no argument against the findings of the various reports on air quality that are pointing the finger at diesel. The science appears to be very robust," said Pontin. "However, they are reporting an historic picture. The latest diesel emissions standards are very stringent and newer vehicles are unlikely to have the same kind of impact on the air that we breathe."

"There is ongoing talk at both a central and local government level about adopting policies such as low-emissions zones or changes in taxation that are designed to reduce the use of diesel but we need a grown-up debate that recognises the subtleties of the situation," said Pontin.

In April, the Government was ordered to take severe action on improving UK air quality by the end of this year after the Supreme Court, the final appeal court in UK law, ruled that new air quality plans must be submitted to the European Commission by no later than 31 December 2015.

The plans will need to include drastic action to cut nitrogen dioxide (NO2 - part of the family of nitrogen oxides or NOx) levels, which many experts blame on diesel vehicles.

Last July, the Government's updated projections found that just five of 43 cities, towns and zones in the UK would be compliant by 2015, 15 by 2020, 38 by 2025 and 40 by 2030.

 The ones that wouldn't make it by 2030 were the urban areas of Greater London, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire, and these would be likely to suffer the earliest or most severe measures to cut pollution.