Climate Action

80% of the British public backs restrictions on diesel cars

A new poll has revealed strong attitudes among the British public to banning diesel cars.

  • 24 August 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

A new poll has revealed strong attitudes among the British public to banning diesel cars.

79 per cent of those surveyed backed an exclusion zone on the vehicles around schools and hospitals. While 29 per cent supported an outright ban on all roads, 23 per cent were in favour of outlawing the cars in cities and urban areas.

The poll of 2,000 people was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of law firm Slater and Gordon. The firm is representing 45,000 UK motorists in a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen over the emissions scandal. The German car giant was found to have deliberately altered their technology to only meet pollution standards during testing. An estimated 1.2 million vehicles in Britain alone are thought to be affected by the scandal.

Gareth Pope, head of group litigation for Slater and Gordon, said: “For many motorists, getting an environmentally friendly and fuel efficient model was the number one factor for buying diesel.

“They wanted cars which were clean, green and efficient and are now starting to realise they were sold a lie and their cars don’t live up to the promise.”

While the UK Government has said it will ban all petrol and diesel cars by 2040, many leaders have lobbied to have this date brought forward. This is also backed up by the survey which shows 54 per cent of people want the ban to come in earlier.

Morten Thaysen, a campaigner at Greenpeace, said: “Diesel cars have been fuelling a major air pollution crisis that has made our cities' air toxic and harmful to breathe. 

“Car makers like VW, which is the biggest diesel producer in Europe, need to pay close attention. Drivers simply don’t want the noxious fumes and health impacts that come with diesel vehicles. 

“VW must scrap diesel for good instead of investing more in trying - and failing - to clean up dated diesel technology. We need a rapid switch to electric by the car industry to help clean up our air and protect our climate.”