Analytical Instrumentation

Is 2040 Too Late for the UK Petrol Ban?

Aug 10 2017 Comments 0

The British government may have just unveiled its radical £3 billion clean air strategy, but according to campaigners it doesn’t go "far enough or fast enough." Not only is air pollution choking the environment but some experts claim that it’s responsible for around 40,000 premature deaths a year.

One of the biggest moves is banning the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040 onwards, as well as arming councils with £255 million to tackle air pollution locally. It’s a key part of the national plan to maintain zero emissions roads by 2050, and work towards a cleaner, greener UK.

The “green revolution”

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling maintains that the government is determined to fast-track a "green revolution". However environmental groups aren’t quite as impressed. The government has received heavy criticism over the decision not to include a scrappage scheme or introduce immediate clean air zones.

One element that has been fast tracked is £40 million in funding that will be used to push forward local schemes. Changing road layouts, retrofitting public transport and launching schemes that encourage people to leave their cars at home are just three of the focus points. Tax on diesel vehicles and a reprioritisation of departmental budgets will be used to fund the pot, with ministers confident that they’ll have a positive impact on air quality.

Government accused of “inexcusable” negligence

It’s a proactive step forward, though Professor Neena Modi, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has slammed the government for failing to tackle what she describes as a “public health emergency." According to Modi, it’s "frankly inexcusable" that the plans fail to go the distance.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas also welcomed the announcement, though warns that "We also need action that tackles this health emergency in the coming months and years.” Greenpeace UK's clean air campaigner Areeba Hamid is another sceptic, stressing that 2040 is "far too late" and that the UK should be prepared to "lead the world in clean transport revolution."

While petrol and diesel may be destined for an eventual phase out, there’s still a heavy focus on developing the industry. For a closer look at the latest revelations ‘Is Low Field NMR now a “Must Have” Technique for the Modern Petro Industry Laboratory?’ explored how the use of stable, cryogen free, rare earth permanent magnets has helped engineers design bench top low field NMR instruments.

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