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British Safety Council welcomes today’s announcement by the Prime Minister to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel only cars to 2030.

As part of our Time to Breathe campaign, launched in March 2019, British Safety Council has been calling on the Government to allow electric only cars in cities from 2030.

Today’s announcement heeds our call and recognises the impact of air pollution on outdoor workers. Air pollution cuts short 40,000 lives across the country each year and costs the economy £20 billion annually in healthcare and impact on businesses, according to research by the Royal College of Physicians.

The Government now needs to go further and adopt the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) air pollution targets and to improve air quality measurement across the UK. This should be part of the Government’s efforts to address climate change and to improve public health.

Mike Robinson, British Safety Council’s Chief Executive, commented,

“We are delighted the Government is embracing our call for electric only cars to be allowed in cities by 2030. Diesel air fumes, caused largely by the use of cars, are a key pollutant that affects respiratory health, particularly for outdoor workers.

To help achieve the Government’s target, it needs to do more to encourage consumer uptake of electric vehicles, which currently make up only 7% of new car sales in the UK.  This means it should continue both to invest significantly in the car charging network and to offer subsidies for new EVs. It also needs to help overcome consumer perception of a single charge range

There is a real opportunity here to catapult the UK to the forefront in the adoption of electric vehicles which will mean cleaner air in our cities and a healthier outdoor workforce”.