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Dublin 'should copy' London's emission charge of almost €15 a day - Ciarán Cuffe

A Green Party MEP for Dublin says the capital should look to the UK to bring in a charge for poll...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.20 18 Aug 2021


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Dublin 'should copy' London's...

Dublin 'should copy' London's emission charge of almost €15 a day - Ciarán Cuffe

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.20 18 Aug 2021


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A Green Party MEP for Dublin says the capital should look to the UK to bring in a charge for polluting cars.

Ciarán Cuffe was speaking as more drivers in the British capital are facing daily fees from October, as its Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will expand.

It will see the creation of a single, larger zone in London.

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Cars, motorcycles, vans and minibuses will either need to meet emissions standards or pay almost €15 (stg£12.50) a day when driving within the zone - which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mr Cuffe told Lunchtime Live better air quality is important for everyone.

"Essentially they are really pushing to reduce the kind of pollution we see coming from vehicles in London, and I certainly think it's something worth copying here in Dublin.

"Air quality is a hugely important issue; speaking personally I've asthma, I'm acutely aware of the quality of the air I breathe.

"But also the impact of poor air quality - it's not just on those with asthma - it's those with heart disease, those with other impairments.

"Nobody wants to breathe toxic air everyday, and the biggest form of air pollution in the middle of Dublin is coming from vehicles".

'Win-win if done correctly'

Mr Cuffe says parts of the capital are breaching guidelines set by the EU.

"So I think we do need to do something, and there's also a benefit: it can, if done correctly, reduce the greenhouse gas emissions as well.

"So it can be a win-win if it's done correctly".

He says Dublin would set a standard and work backwards from that.

"I think you'd start off by saying 'Look, if you're driving a dirty diesel from the last century, you would be paying to come into the city centre'.

"Then I think we should look at the standards that have been set in London and perhaps follow them".

'Nudge people' to  make right choices

And he says regardless of any charge, the transport landscape is changing.

"Over the next 10 to 15 years, we essentially have to phase out the internal combustion engine, and that's what is happening at a European Union level.

"The benefits are obviously a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, but also an improvement in local air quality".

And he says any charge should start in the centre of the city.

"I think we would start with what's called the Central Business District - in other words, south of Parnell Street and north of Stephen's Green.

"So you'd take the immediate city centre area, and then you might expand it over time".

Asked about a separate congestion charge, which London drivers also face, he says: "I think we have to look at whatever means will achieve the kind of reduction in greenhouse gasses that we need - but also the improvement in air quality.

"The last thing we want to do is hammer people, but we do have to nudge them towards making the right choices over the next few years".

Dublin 'should copy' London's emission charge of almost €15 a day - Ciarán Cuffe

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Composite image shows Green Party MEP Ciaran Cuffe speaking in Dublin in February 2021, and cars on a main road in Germany. Picture by: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie/Silas Stein/DPA/PA Images

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Ciaran Cuffe Dublin Emission Charge Green Party MEP London Lunchtime Live ULEZ Ultra-Low Emission Zone

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