New diesel and petrol vehicles to be banned by 2040

  • 26 July 2017
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New cars and vans that use diesel and petrol as fuel will be banned in the UK from 2040.

This decision is part of a government plan called the clean air strategy - a plan to deal with the issues of air pollution.

A government spokesman said poor air quality was "the biggest environmental risk" to people's health in the UK.

"This government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible," he said.

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"Our eyes start stinging" - London school kids on living with high levels of air pollution in the capital

What is air pollution?

When we burn certain types of fuel they give off harmful gases that are sometimes hard to see.

These gases end up in the air that we breathe.

In small amounts these gases do little harm, but with high levels and more cars on the road they can cause health issues and are bad for the environment.

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So what will people drive in 2040?

People will still be allowed to own cars that take diesel and petrol fuel.

It's just new cars that use these fuels that will be banned.

Electric cars will then be the main way of getting around.

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What do people think about the new plans?

Campaigners wanted the government to create clean air zones.

Cars that give out high levels of pollution would have to pay if they enter zones like this. However this is not currently included in the government plans.

There was a long court battle in which judges agreed with environmental campaigners that previous plans to tackle air pollution were not enough to deal with the problem.

Environmental campaigners have welcomed the new plans saying they are promising, but they felt that more detail was needed.

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