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Published September 14, 2013 07:30 AM

Scottish government to ban petrol and diesel cars from city centres

While many sceptics and supporters of the electric vehicle industry have been discussing aspects of a petrol and diesel car ban from city centres, few had expected this to emerge in the news in the short to medium term. However, the Scottish government has today announced plans to ban petrol and diesel vehicles from town and city centres across the country although the target date for this could be as far out as 2050.

Even though the Scottish government has been one of the greatest supporters of green travel and renewable energy, even this is a major step forward for the Scottish National Party.

At this moment in time many political parties and governments around the world are currying favour with voters who are concerned about the environment and in particular "green travel". The fact is that such an aspiration, i.e. to ban petrol and diesel vehicles from town and city centres, makes for great headlines in the press but will it ever come into play?

It is feasible that at some point in the future, when the cost of purchasing and running electric vehicles falls, we will see more emphasis upon green forms of travel. However, it is highly unlikely, especially at this moment in time, that we will see a complete ban in town and city centres across Scotland, the UK and other countries around the world.

The Scottish government has also announced plans to replace the current fleet of petrol and diesel vehicles used in government operations with an array of electric alternatives. A substantial £14 million has been put aside for this particular project and while a two-year target has been mentioned this is only a loose target.

It is interesting to see that the Scottish government has also announced plans to put forward grants of £5,000 towards the purchase of electric vehicles and £8,000 towards the purchase of electric vans. Even though the UK government is already offering financial incentives to those looking to "greener forms of transport" it is interesting that the Scottish government appears to be making plans for after the Independence vote.

Photo of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh via Shutterstock.

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