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DCLA should provide drivers with a simple way to check emissions, councils say

The government should give drivers more tools to check whether their vehicle will be subject to certain emissions standards.

Concerns follow the announcement by London mayor Sadiq Khan of the toxicity charge and future low-emissions zone, as well as other cities considering the possibility of implementing such policies.

Some organisations, such as the LGA and RAC, have called on the government and the DCLA to implement an online ‘license plate checker’ which would allow people to easily check where their vehicle falls.

The DVLA already holds a detailed log of every registered vehicle in the UK, so it is ideally placed to provide an online look-up system of this sort.

“Good air quality is essential for our health and quality of life, as well as for the environment, which is why councils want to switch their focus from monitoring air quality to improving it,” commented Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s transport spokesman.

“It’s essential that government and manufacturers work together to make sure that vehicle emission standards are clear, up front, and reflect the actual emissions released, as this will help motorists play their part in making sure that our communities have cleaner air.

“A national diesel scrappage scheme would also help get more polluting vehicles off the road. This immediate intervention could help increase the uptake of lower emission vehicles.”

Emissions standards have become an important issue in cities because low air quality has been linked with a wide variety of health problems, such as asthma, heart problems and strokes.

In Scotland, Edinburgh council bosses are also trying to deal with the problem and have announced considerations for a diesel parking charge system which would punish people financially for owning high-pollution vehicles.

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