Almost two thirds of road users would support a scrappage scheme for older diesel cars to reduce pollution, according to research by IAM RoadSmart.

The road safety advocates surveyed over 1,400 people in the UK earlier in June. Just 27% were opposed to a diesel scrappage scheme. IAM RoadSmart found that most who backed the scheme wanted it to apply to vehicles over 8 years old.

A large majority of those surveyed, 83%, said that retrofitting older vehicles with new equipment should be the priority, echoing the UK government’s line on the issue.

In a stripped-back Queen’s Speech, the government addressed road emissions by  improving electric charging infrastructure, but stopped short of promising a diesel scrappage scheme.

The respondents told IAM Roadsmart that drivers bore some responsibility for emissions due to their driving behaviour, with 75% agreeing that encouraging drivers to change should feature in the government’s approach to addressing air quality concerns.

Sarah Sillars, chief executive officer, IAM RoadSmart, said that the public was calling for the government to be more interventionist in dealing with emissions and air quality.

She said: “It is clear to me that the public at large feel the government needs to be decisive and proactive when it comes to making our air quality better. They see strong government direction as key to making sure it happens.”

More than two thirds, 67%, of those surveyed did not trust car makers to sell cars to match consumer expectations of environmental performance. Sillars said this showed carmakers needed to rebuild public trust, following ‘Dieselgate’.

Sillars added: “Car manufacturers have some way to go to rebuild trust with the public – it would seem that only when their environmental claims more closely match real world performance that the trust will be on the increase. Reputations take years to build and moments to fall.”