Government propose 'scrappage' scheme to get older vans and cars off Britain's roads

  • Video report by ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi

A "targeted" scheme to get older, more polluting vans or cars off the roads could be introduced under draft plans published by the Government.

The proposal is part of a draft plan to improve air quality by reducing nitrogen dioxide levels in the UK.

The Government is consulting on a range of measures including the option to introduce clean air zones in 27 towns and cities in England to reduce pollution in urban areas.

These could include charges to enter and move around in the designated area.

Diesel vehicles could also face a hike in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) in the autumn budget.

The Government plans called for local authorities to develop "new and creative solutions to reduce emissions as quickly as possible, while avoiding undue impact on the motorist".

But the proposals said they could be support for councils that wanted to retrofit vehicles such as busses, taxi or HGV fleets. They said there could also be central funding for local measures making infrastructure for accessible for walking, cycling and electric vehicles.

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: "Improving air quality is a key priority as we support businesses in building a stronger and cleaner economy.

"Our plan today sets out how we will do just that - including presenting options for targeted diesel scrappage schemes."

The Government were ordered to draw up the new clean air plans following a court challenge by environmental lawyers ClientEarth.

The High Court ruled existing government proposals did not sufficiently meet EU-mandated pollution limits.

The Environment Department (Defra) lost a last-minute High Court bid to delay revealing the draft plans, much of which comes from diesel vehicles, until after the General Election.

A consultation period will run until 15 June with the final plan to be published on 31 July.