"Diesel car owners could soon have to pay to drive in 16 cities following a High Court judgment.
A judge yesterday ruled that Government plans to meet EU air pollution targets do not go far enough and need to be greatly expanded.
Six city-wide ‘clean air zones’ – in which owners of large diesel vehicles would be hit with charges to deter them from driving in – were already in line to be in force by 2020 in Birmingham, Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby, and by 2025 in London.
But the High Court judge ruled the plans will not be enough to bring down pollution to within legally binding limits set by the EU, and another ten cities are now likely to face the ‘pollution tax’.
Under the old plans, only drivers of diesel lorries, buses, taxis and in some cases vans would face charges. But in what will be a deeply politically unpopular move, car drivers may now be included.
And plans originally drawn up – but dropped on grounds of cost – for clean-air zones in Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Liverpool, Bristol, Leicester, Stoke, Coventry, Hull and Sheffield are now expected to be revisited."