Drivers of diesel cars could soon be hit by a new fee of up to £20 a day, it is reported today.
It reports around 35 towns and cities will have bans on diesel cars and commercial vehicles, daily charges on them entering the busiest areas, or a mixture of the two.
Up to 10million cars could be affected in cities including Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby, it is reported.
Councils in each area would consult on the details, and newer diesel cars would reportedly be excluded.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has already announced the most polluting vehicles will have to pay a “toxicity charge” to enter the capital.
It follows repeated calls for a scrappage scheme to phase out polluting diesel vehicles.
Despite pressure the move was not announced in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget last month.
But the small print did show ministers are looking at “the appropriate tax treatment of diesel vehicles”.
This led to fears of tax hikes for diesel cars in the Autumn Budget.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling also signalled a crackdown by warning people should think long and hard before buying a diesel car.
Asked whether motorists should hesitate before buying a diesel, Mr Grayling said: “People should take a long, hard think about what they need, about where they’re going to be driving, and should make best endeavours to buy the least polluting vehicle they can.
“I don’t think diesel is going to disappear but someone who is buying a car to drive around a busy city may think about buying a low-emission vehicle rather than a diesel.”
The Environment Department has been contacted for comment.