Mooted diesel car ban ‘has no appreciation’ for rural travel distances

Mooted Government proposals to outlaw the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 are ludicrous and need to be urgently re-examined – with no appreciation for the distances people have to travel in rural Ireland, according to independent TD for Offaly Carol Nolan.

Deputy Nolan was speaking after it was revealed that Minister for the Environment and Climate Action Richard Bruton has initiated a process within his department to bring forward legislation on the matter in the new year.

According to RTÉ, the Government is drafting new laws that would ban new petrol and diesel car registrations by 2030, as part of a strategy to protect the environment.

Reacting to the reports, the TD said:

My sense is that the proposal to force everyone to buy electric vehicles is being greeted with disbelief and genuine anger in many parts of the country, but specifically in rural Ireland.

“There is simply no confidence in the Government’s proposals to roll out a nationwide line of electric vehicle charging points given the fiasco it has made of the national broadband plan for example.

“There is obviously some merit in encouraging motorists to voluntarily make the change to electric or hybrid cars,” she said.

However, she warned: “This proposal, as far as I can see, will actively discriminate against those who wish to continue buying petrol or diesel vehicles and who may not be able to afford the high prices demanded by electric cars.

There seems to be no appreciation of the distances that some people have to travel in rural Ireland and the challenges that an absence of charging points would bring about.

Speculating on potential consequences, the TD said: “There is also a concern that the logic of this proposal is to eventually ban the use of petrol or diesel farm vehicles.

“These proposals need to be urgently reassessed and re-examined, because at present it just seems like the minister is dancing to the tune of a green inspired policy agenda without a thought for the impact it will have in the real world,” deputy Nolan concluded.