Diesel vehicles have experienced a large decline in sales and according to a new survey more than half of UK motorists believe they should be banned from urban areas. The poll, carried out by law firm Censuswide for Slater and Gordon, asked 2000 people what they thought of diesel cars. The firm are representing 45,000 motorists in a group-action lawsuit against Volkswagen over the emissions scandal.
The main concerns involved air pollution, with 70% of drivers feeling that diesel exhaust damaged health. The number rose to 80% when motorists were asked if diesel cars should be banned from areas around schools and hospitals.
New statistics released by the government revealed that 28,000 to 36,000 people in the UK die each year from air pollution. Many urban areas in the UK have had illegally high levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) as far back as 2010. Diesel cars produce higher levels of NOx than petrol vehicles. The government has been called out several times on the inadequacy of its plans on dealing with the issue.
The survey showed how little faith the public have in diesel cars. 70% of people thought they were mis-sold and the general consensus is that regulators should have the power to take cars off the road if they fail emissions tests.
Gareth Pope, head of Slater and Gordon, said “motorists wanted cars which were clean, green and efficient and are now starting to realise they were sold a lie and their cars don’t live up to the promise. This survey has shown that the VW emissions scandal, and revelations about what lengths the manufacturer went to cheat clean air tests, has had a hugely negative impact on the entire industry.”
Morten Thaysen, a clean air campaigner at Greenpeace also gave an opinion. “Diesel cars have been fuelling a major air pollution crisis that has made our cities’ air toxic and harmful to breathe. We need a rapid switch to electric by the car industry to help clean up our air and protect our climate.”
The survey has shed light on the current opinion of diesel cars and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve any time soon.