Here is the official response from the People's Cycling Front of South Gloucestershire:
Nobody who drives a diesel car has the right to accuse cyclists of causing pollution
People who voluntarily bought a diesel car, are the ones causing pollution. Now, it's not their fault: the car companies lied, and governments clearly covered it up. Why did people do it then?
- Lower fuel cost
- Car tax benefits, due to CO2
- Combined message from car companies and governments that "diesel was good"
- Claims in the early 2000's that EURO3+ was going to fix the PM particulate pollution, by burning the particles off, albeit giving off NOx in the process.
- Claims that EURO6 was going to fix all pesky NOx problems that surfaced in the Mid 2000s.
The promise then, was clean diesel: fuel economy, fun cars, no pollution. This is what the EU car industry focused on, and what VW tried to sell to the US
It turns out that that this fairy tale had one small flaw: it was bollocks.
We know that now. Post-dieselgate, diesel car drivers can't point to the cyclists and say "it's your fault! you are to blame for pollution!".
They should be pointing at the car companies and said "you lying bastards, you told us these cars were suited to cities, when in fact they are killing them." Then they should turn to the UK and other EU governments and say "Why did it take the US government to find this out? What did you know —and why did you cover it up".
Then they should look at their beloved car, point at it and say "I'm sorry, you have to go"
Except for some special cases(*), there is no law in the UK that says cars and vans have to be diesel. We've always had a choice. Well, it turns out one choice, "clean diesel", was a lie —and that can only be corrected by the individual action of car owners.
Sell the diesel car! Buy a petrol one! If you have the money, go for a hybrid petrol one. And then start campaigning for something to be done about diesel in our cities. Because it's poisoning you too.
Yes, selling off your diesel car will pass the problem down the chain, it will probably get picked up by someone else. But at least now you can say "I've done my bit". And if you aren't prepared to even start with that —you can shut the fuck up when it comes to saying bike lanes cause pollution. Your decision to drive a diesel car in our cities causes pollution. Either get on a bike, a bus or get a petrol/hybrid/electric car.
Finally don't even think about buying a diesel car or van in 2016, new or second hand. Anyone who does that is either choosing to ignore all the press coverage of dieselgate and NOx pollution, or choosing not to give a fuck. Whatever choice, if you now buy a diesel vehicle, you have publicly surrendered your right to complain about: cyclists causing pollution, road tax changes which penalise diesel, fuel tax changes that increase cost/mile of diesel, and any future ULEZ zones across the UK which either ban you from driving your diesel car in —or may you pay for the privilege of causing pollution.
The car manufacturers and EU governments have shown that EURO6 won't deliver; that all those spreadsheets and timetables for NOx pollution going away are as fictional as WMD-in-Iraq dossiers. Which means that city-by-city, controls will have to go in on diesel car use. Don't wait for that to happen, get rid of diesel today. And if not: STFU.
[There's one notorious exception: london black cab drivers who really are made to drive diesel taxis. And TfL is dragging their heels about affordable replacements. That doesn't mean they can point to the cyclists and say "it's your fault"; they should point at the vans, at the commuters, at the cars and say "we don't have a choice —you do, and you still choose to drive diesel". In particular, cabbies should STFU about slagging of Uber drivers for driving Priuses. Smacks of jealousy there.]