“Richard Howard, at the thinktank Policy Exchange, says a complete diesel ban is not feasible. “Diesel vehicles are worse than petrol, but we as a nation have gone out and bought 11m diesel vehicles.”
“His report, which found a Londoner’s life expectancy is cut by about 16 months by air pollution, was published in December. It says that, on top of the legal and moral reasons for action, there is an equality case too, as poorer neighbourhoods are worst affected.
“There is a lot going on, but this is a very difficult problem to solve,” Howard says. “There are no silver bullets.” He says action is needed at EU level, to set and enforce tough vehicle emissions standards, at national level, to reform tax incentives for diesels, and at local authority level, to create low emissions zones.”