The idea that millions can smoothly switch to cleaner vehicles is also questionable, to say the least. Obviously they may be able to buy a smaller low-emission vehicle. But will it be equivalent to their existing car?

Some drivers will face the almost impossible choice between paying hundreds, even thousands of pounds, in new annual charges or taxes, or spending tens of thousands of pounds on a new car that may not even be appropriate for their needs.

And this on top of the existing cost of driving in the UK.

The vice is tightening, and my fear is that the target of switching the country to electric vehicles will become, year-by-year, an effective ban on other types of engine as the financial cost of using them increases because of decisions of councils such as Merton.

If this country truly believed in freedom, it would be making it cheaper, not more expensive, to drive. Instead, barring some dramatic technological leap forward, we are at risk of turning it into an elite pursuit.





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