ARGUS COMMENT: The carrot and stick of diesel cars

ARGUS COMMENT: The carrot and stick of diesel cars

ARGUS COMMENT: The carrot and stick of diesel cars

First published in News
Last updated

TWENTY years ago few motorists drove diesel cars.

Now a third of all cars on Britain's roads are fuelled with diesel.

Why? Because successive governments encouraged individuals, and the operators of company car fleets in particular, to switch to diesel via a variety of incentives because of the lower carbon dioxide emissions of such vehicles.

The moves were part of plans to meet EU climate change targets.

That was the carrot. Now drivers of diesels are about to feel the stick.

In London, mayor Boris Johnson wants to charge them £10 to enter the centre of the capital. The levy would be on top of the congestion charge.

If Mr Johnson gets his way it is thought many towns and cities will follow suit.

Why? Because while encouraging diesel cars cut carbon dioxide emissions it also massively increased nitrogen dioxide pollution, particularly in city centres.

The government and local authorities cannot have it both ways.

If the number of diesel cars on our roads increased because of incentives for motorists, then the same approach should be adopted to reduce them.

You cannot encourage something, realise it was a mistake, and then punish those who reacted positively to the encouragement.

We wish Mr Johnson all the worst with his latest brainwave.

And we hope Whitehall adopts a positive approach to correcting its mistake.

Comments (4)

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10:41am Wed 30 Jul 14

davidcp says...

Of course, one assumes that BJ (unfortunate initials) will replace all London City vehicles with petrol-using vehicles instead? Police cars, dustbin lorries, fire engines, ambulances, car-parking camera cars, buses, taxis (good luck!), etc?

Thought not.
Of course, one assumes that BJ (unfortunate initials) will replace all London City vehicles with petrol-using vehicles instead? Police cars, dustbin lorries, fire engines, ambulances, car-parking camera cars, buses, taxis (good luck!), etc? Thought not. davidcp
  • Score: 4

1:04pm Wed 30 Jul 14

Llanmartinangel says...

A good editorial but missed the point that it's diesels which don't conform to modern emission standards so more recent models might not be charged extra. Milking motorists, moreso in London, is a science.
A good editorial but missed the point that it's diesels which don't conform to modern emission standards so more recent models might not be charged extra. Milking motorists, moreso in London, is a science. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 5

5:24pm Wed 30 Jul 14

varteg1 says...

This baffles me.

My car attracts a very low tax because it has vastly reduced exhaust emissions...it is diesel.

I did not go for diesel because of this, but because I was sick to death of having electrical problems with petrol cars,

Points, distributor, , computer chips etc etc.

In the last ten years our diesel cars have never failed from electrical problems, prior to that it was one thing after another, as component parts died, failed, broke, or burned.

There was the incentive element, when diesel was demonstrably cheaper than petrol, but as petrol cars dropped off the roads, the slimy governments (all of 'em) soon realised cheaper diesel was losing the tax revenue, so up went the tax on diesel. Up went the price correspondingly.
We may pay less road tax today, but that has been well and truly outweighed by the massive hike in fuel prices.
Johnson can shove his charges up, you know where, and as high as he likes, it will not affect me, I wouldn't be seen dead in that **** pile called London.

If I want to see Nigerians, Somali's, Pakistani's etc, I'll go to Nigeria, Somalia, or Pakistan. and the way fuel prices are going, it will probably be cheaper to do so.

In the meanwhile, I'll be off to France in a few weeks time, where diesel is cheaper than petrol, and is currently selling at less than quid a litre in many supermarkets.
This baffles me. My car attracts a very low tax because it has vastly reduced exhaust emissions...it is diesel. I did not go for diesel because of this, but because I was sick to death of having electrical problems with petrol cars, Points, distributor, , computer chips etc etc. In the last ten years our diesel cars have never failed from electrical problems, prior to that it was one thing after another, as component parts died, failed, broke, or burned. There was the incentive element, when diesel was demonstrably cheaper than petrol, but as petrol cars dropped off the roads, the slimy governments (all of 'em) soon realised cheaper diesel was losing the tax revenue, so up went the tax on diesel. Up went the price correspondingly. We may pay less road tax today, but that has been well and truly outweighed by the massive hike in fuel prices. Johnson can shove his charges up, you know where, and as high as he likes, it will not affect me, I wouldn't be seen dead in that **** pile called London. If I want to see Nigerians, Somali's, Pakistani's etc, I'll go to Nigeria, Somalia, or Pakistan. and the way fuel prices are going, it will probably be cheaper to do so. In the meanwhile, I'll be off to France in a few weeks time, where diesel is cheaper than petrol, and is currently selling at less than quid a litre in many supermarkets. varteg1
  • Score: -2

9:37pm Wed 30 Jul 14

golfer says...

So long as it happens in London ..let them have it ..
So long as it happens in London ..let them have it .. golfer
  • Score: 0

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