Doctors lend voices to diesel ban calls

The campaign group Doctors Against Diesel have joined the argument for banning diesel vehicles in London.

Made up of doctors, nurses and other health professionals, the group are calling for Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, to commit to phasing out diesel vehicles from London.

In recent weeks, four major cities - Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens - have committed to a ban on diesel vehicles by 2025, piling pressure on Khan to do the same.

Despite vocalising support to rid the capital of diesel buses by 2018, a spokesman for the Mayor said reiterated that he had no legal powers to ban cars in London, but has called on the government to ‘face its responsibility and implement a national diesel scrappage scheme now’.

Doctors Against Diesel claim 9,400 Londoners a year die prematurely from breathing in toxic fumes from diesel engines, with nearly 40 per cent of all nitrogen oxides emissions and PM10 pollution within London coming from diesel vehicles.

Speaking to the BBC, Professor Jonathan Grigg from Doctors Against Diesel, said: "Deaths from paediatric asthma are disproportionately much higher in London than the rest of Europe.

"Air pollution levels in London exceed legal limits and affect people's health at every stage of life. If we want to be serious about air pollution we need to be serious about diesel."

Those opposing the ban, including a number of motoring associations, have labelled the call as ‘impractical’.