Sale of new petrol and diesel cars to banned in the UK

The ban will not be introduced until 2040

Sale of new petrol and diesel cars to banned in the UK

File photo: New diesel and petrol cars and vans to be banned in the UK from 2040. Image: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/PA Images

The sale of new petrol and diesel-fueled cars is set to be banned in the UK from 2040.

The British government is also set to introduce new pollution taxes on diesel cars from 2020 as part of its new air quality strategy.

When he announces the strategy, the country’s Environment Secretary Michael Gove will propose that all cars should eventually be electric or hybrid.

However, he will stop short of backing an extensive scrappage scheme for diesel cars – and instead will consult on the idea in the autumn.

The new pollution taxes will apply on the UK's busiest roads, mostly in London and big towns and cities, but also on two heavily congested motorways, the M4 near London and the M32 in Bristol.

The new strategy urges local authorities to attempt to reduce emissions - at first by fitting the worst-polluting diesel vehicles with filters, changing road lay-outs and removing speed humps.

As a last resort however, councils will be allowed to impose tough levies on the worst-polluting diesel vehicles as soon as 2020.

The strategy will disappoint motoring groups who have pressed for a diesel scrappage scheme, under which diesel drivers would receive compensation for trading in their polluting vehicles.

Instead Mr Gove will hold a consultation on a "possible" scrappage scheme in the autumn, which sources have suggested is likely to be "very, very targeted."

He is expected to warn local authorities against "unfairly penalising" drivers by imposing pollution taxes and other restrictions on diesel drivers.

Westminster has been forced to come up with tougher measures to target diesel drivers after losing a case against environmental campaigners ClientEarth over breaches of EU emissions standards.