Owners of diesel cars could be charged for driving into city centres

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The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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OWNERS of diesel cars could be charged every time they drive into Southampton.

The fee will potentially be levied under plans to reduce toxic air in the city centre, following a high court ruling that the government must do more to tackle areas of high pollution.

Experts have predicted that drivers may be forced to pay up to £10 every time they enter the city centre.

Ministers have drawn up plans to create Clean Air Zones in Southampton and five other cities by 2020. Measures to charge owners of diesel buses, lorries and taxis could be extended to car owners.

Poisonous emissions are believed to be the cause for at least 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, including 110 in Southampton.