Liberal Democrats would ban the sale of diesel cars and vans and recreate London’s ULEZ elsewhere

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to ban the sale of diesel cars and vans and recreate London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 10 more towns.

The party’s general election manifesto also claims that it would launch a £100bn package of infrastructure investment, champion the northern powerhouse and Midlands engine initiatives, and have a referendum on the final terms of the Brexit deal.

RHA national policy director Jack Semple welcomed the Liberal Democrat’s pledge to spend an additional £100bn on infrastructure but queried the party’s approach to diesel.

He said: “We need to see the details of the ULEZ. TfL, which is the toughest regulator in Europe, describes Euro-6 trucks and buses as ultra low emission vehicles.

“Next year new cars – and by 2019 new vans – will also perform to these standards. NOx emissions from HGVs are plummeting and have reduced by a third since 2013. This is not reflected in the public debate so far.”

Howard Cox, founder of campaign group FairFuelUK, condemned the manifesto’s measures on diesel.

He said: “This party is ill informed and misguided, ignoring the evidence that diesel vehicles are getting cleaner and irresponsibly driving down the value of cars and vans for hard working families and small businesses.

He added: “It is easy for a party to pander to an emotive green argument if it knows it is never going to get elected.”

Measures in the manifesto include:
• A green transport act
• An air quality plan
• A diesel scrappage scheme
• A ban on the sale of diesel cars and small vans in the UK by 2025
• Extending ULEZ to 10 more towns and cities
• All private hire vehicles and diesel buses licensed to operate in urban areas to run on ultra-low emission or zero emission fuels in five years.
• The reformation of vehicle taxation to encourage sales of electric and low-emission vehicles
• Development of an electric vehicle infrastructure including universal charging points
• £100bn infrastructure investment package with significant investment in road and rail
• Devolution of infrastructure spending to local areas
• National Infrastructure Commission to take full account of environmental implications of all national infrastructure programmes
• A review of business rates to reduce burdens on small firms
• Apprenticeship programme expansion and new sector-led national colleges
• Support for the northern powerhouse and Midlands engine initiatives