FairFuelUK, the UK’s leading
and most successful protest group on road fuel pricing, is warning the
government not to penalise diesel drivers with higher rates of fuel duty or
cause a crash in secondhand values through misinformation. There has to
be a measured, practical and well informed response to the issues related to
diesel emissions, the VW saga and its undoubted impact on the economy.
Lead Campaigner, Broadcaster and Journalist, Quentin Willson, says: ’ The UK’s 15 million diesel drivers shouldn’t be financially penalised because of a knee-jerk reaction to the recent VW emissions scandal. We’re hearing rumours in Westminster that the Treasury could be considering higher Vehicle Excise Duty rates, a purchase tax on used diesel vehicles, a 1p rise in duty and even an increase in VAT on diesel. This could cause used diesel car and van values to collapse and add millions in extra costs to families and businesses across the country.’
In 2001 Gordon Brown reduced the tax on low sulphur diesel and drivers were told that diesel fuel emitted less CO2 and was better for the environment. Sales of diesel passenger cars in the UK rose as a direct result of this policy change with 50% of all cars now being powered by diesel engines. Motoring consumers were misled and both Labour and Conservative governments have repeatedly ignored warnings from clean air campaigners about particulate and NOx emissions. The current MoT test has no provision to measure particulates or NOx and only tests for excessive smoke. Drivers of older diesels have never had clear guidelines about the emissions content of their vehicles so have never been able to make informed and environmentally conscious buying decisions.
In the largest ever survey of UK Driver Opinion to be published in the next month covering motoring issues that impact on daily lives and the economy, 61% of FairFuelUK supporters said there should be a Government incentivised older diesel engine scrappage scheme.
FairFuelUK is asking the Government to better manage the current diesel debate and suggests the following:
1. An older diesel scrappage scheme to incentivise drivers of the most polluting cars and vans to switch to petrol, hybrid or electric.
2. That the MoT test for diesels includes testing for fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.
3. The creation of an independent data bank of the emissions content of all diesel cars and vans, new and old, which can be easily accessed by consumers.
4. An enquiry into the reasons why modern Diesel Particulate Filters have a high failure and blockage rate.
5. Much better research into the health risks and toxicity of diesel emissions.