The Scottish government have revealed an ambitious plan to cut CO2 emissions
The Scottish Government yesterday unveiled a radical blueprint to slash greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds over the next 15 years.
Ministers believe tackling city and town centre road pollution will help to cut them by 66 per cent by 2032.
They plan to introduce "low emission zones" with motorists and other road users facing either a charge or a ban unless their vehicle complied limits.
The draft Climate Change Plan reveals a pilot scheme should be in place as early as next year.
It also calls for "workplace car parking levies" in a bid to discourage staff driving and incentives to help motorists switch to electric cars.
Congestion charging may also be considered with plans to work with councils on "pilot reductions" in traffic.
The policy has been savaged by the Alliance of British Drivers
The document argues improving Scotland's air quailty could be worth more than £500 million per year.
They will do whatever they can to take money out of drivers' pockets
Hugh Bladon, of Alliance of British Drivers
But campaigners warned against penalising penalising motorists in a country in which hundreds of thousands of families rely on cars.
Hugh Bladon, of Alliance of British Drivers, said: "High-polluting vehicles are not cars, they are public transport buses and lorries and vans and sometimes even taxis.
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"There is a constant fight against the people who want to drive their own cars. I do not know why it is but they have a real hatred of anybody who drives a car.
"They will do whatever they can to take money out of drivers' pockets."
The paper came as Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham give the clearest hint yet the goverment will introduce an outright ban on fracking.
Challenged by Labour MSP Claudia Beamish on why shale gas drilling was not discussed Ms Cunningham "fracking isn't mentioned because we're not doing it".
The Government already has a moratorium on the technique and has promised a vote on the issue by the end of the year.
The Climate Change Plan puts a total ban on fracking in Scotland
Experts say it could bring £6.5billion of investment and creating more than 3,000 jobs in Scotland.
It has, however, been criticised amid fears it could pollute water, devastate house prices, create greenhouse gases and even cause earthquakes.
Researchers have argued that any negative impacts could probably be countered by 'robust regulation'.
Yesterday's document argued "travel opportunities should prioritise walking and cycling before public transport and car".
Low emmission zones will "limit the access of vehicles that exceed emissions benchmarks while permitting unrestricted access for clean buses, vans and cars as well as smaller goods vehicles."
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No Scottish council has yet introduced one – but one was brought to London in 2008 targeting polluting heavy diesel vehicles.
Plans are underway go further with an "ultra low emission zone" in central London.
Nottingham City Council has also brought in a controversial workplace parking levy which raked in more than £9million in 2015.
The charge is made to businesses who have more than 10 parking spaces in the city boundary, costing £375 per space.
More than £9 million was collected by Nottingham City Council last year as a result of the controversial workplace parking levy.
The plans argue that improving Scotland's air quality could be worth more than £5m per year
Scottish Tory transport spokesman Liam Kerr said it was right to investigate ideas but added: "This particular move would punish motorists and businesses – two groups the SNP has already got it in for."Hammering those who can only get to work by car would be extremely unfair, and send out the wrong message altogether."
Other measures announced yesterday included a totally renewable electricity sector by 2032, when Scotland's last nuclear power station will close – paving the way for even more windfarms.
Ministers also want to create hundreds of thousands of electrical car charging points across Scotland.
Ms Cunningham said the proposals "represent a new level of ambition which will help maintain Scotland's reputation as a climate leader within the international community".
She added: "The Scottish Government's ambitions are clear, but we have now reached a point in our journey where future progress will require the support of individuals, organisations and businesses across the country."
But Green MSPs and campaigners said the plans did not go far enough.
Government agency Transport Scotland last night confirmed it was "working to ensure" the first low emission zone "is in place next year" to help tackle CO2 pollution.
A spokesman said: The Scottish Government is liaising closely with local authorities and other partners to meet this timetable.
"Significantly reducing vehicle emissions in our towns and cities will improve health, reduce pollution related illnesses and consequently bring savings to healthcare."