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A task force made up of automotive experts that can oversee plans to ban new diesel, petrol and hybrid vehicles needs to be created, or else environmental targets could be missed, a transport body has warned.

Transport for the South East said an action plan is required to ensure the ban is in place by 2035, or earlier.

It said a task force made up of representatives from across government, the automotive industry and consumer groups could oversee the action plan and make sure any agreed target is both realistic and achievable.

A ban on selling conventional vehicles was brought forward earlier this year to 2035 after climate experts pointed out that 2040 was too late if the UK wanted to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050.

Councillor Keith Glazier, chair of Transport for the South East, said: “Ending the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans will be a critical point on the UK’s journey to a zero emissions future, but agreeing a date is not enough.

“Whether the target is 2040, 2035 or sooner, it must be accompanied by a clear and costed action plan setting out how we are going to reach this critical milestone.

“Without it, there is a significant risk that the target could be missed.”

In June, the RHA called on the government to create a strategy that allowed businesses to “invest with confidence in the technology needed to decarbonise@.