Updated: 26/07/17 : 07:03:18
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World :: UK to ban petrol and diesel cars from 2040

The UK government is set to announce a complete ban on the sale of all petrol and diesel fueled cars from 2040, when all vehicles must be fully electric.

It is part of a plan to clean-up air quality amid fears that rising levels of pollutants pose a major risk to public health.

The move follows a similar announcement earlier this month by the French government to take polluting vehicles off the road.

The UK government has been under pressure to take measures to reduce air pollution after losing legal cases brought by campaign groups.

The Daily Mail newspaper is reporting that under the proposals to be announced today, local authorities would be able to charge levies on the drivers of diesel vehicles on the most polluted roads from 2020, if air quality does not improve.

The London Times newspaper says the sale of new hybrid vehicles that have an electric motor combined with a petrol or diesel engine would also end under the plan.

Earlier this month, Volvo became the first major traditional automaker to set a date for phasing out vehicles powered solely by the internal combustion engine by saying all its car models launched after 2019 will be electric or hybrids.

Air pollution is linked to around 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK, and transport also makes up a significant share of greenhouse gas emissions.