New petrol and diesel cars are to be a thing of the past to reduce pollution, according to a new UK Government policy.

The only problem is the past is more than 20 years in the future.

Everyone will need to switch their fossil fuel burning cars for cleaner electric powered vehicles.

Glasgow has some of the highest rates of air pollution in the UK, breaching World Health Organisation safe levels.

It creates respiratory problems and is a major cause of premature death.

Pollution needs action now and the first part is admitting we have a problem in the first place and what one of the major causes is. Overuse of the motor car.

We don’t need to wait until the middle of this century before we take action to limit the damage from car exhausts.

Glasgow City Council is to review traffic management in the city centre to reduce congestion and it aims to set up a low emission zone.

The problem has always been then car. No-one has been willing to take on the over reliance on the car and state the obvious that there is no need for most drivers to take a car into the city centre.

Retailers have resisted because they fear losing customers to out of town shopping car parks with free parking.

And the City Council made £12.6m surplus last year from parking charges which is money they don’t want to give up.

How more attractive would the city centre streets be to both shoppers and businesses if more streets were traffic free.

We also have on-street parking with meters, which helps rake in the cash for council coffers.

In the streets where parking is still allowed it is removing one, in some cases two, lanes from the road which would help traffic flow more freely.

One of these lanes could also be used for dedicated, safer cycle lanes encouraging more people to get out of their cars.

Segregated cycling lanes also cut pollution. According to Friends of the Earth, in Seville in Spain, it helped cut pollution in half.

Earlier this year it was revealed that Hope Street was the most polluted street in Scotland, Dumbarton road was also in the ten worst streets.

In recent years efforts to reduce congestion and pollution have focused on parking charges to deter people from bringing cars into the city centre.

It raises money as do congestion charges which has been mentioned by some people as a solution for Glasgow.

Neither has any real impact on pollution if the number of cars remain the same but people just pay to pollute the air.

We can reduce pollution in Glasgow before the petrol and diesel ban in 2040and yes it will cost money and it will inconvenience many drivers.

But it is a serious problem that requires serious solution which means re-educating ourselves and understanding that inconvenience is far outweighed by health benefits

We just need to step away from the car.