A new £20 'toxin tax' on diesel cars could affect motorists in 35 towns and cities across England, according to new reports.

The new measures may also involve restricting those with diesel cars.

More details are expected to be revealed officially next week by the environment secretary, Andrea Leadsom.

It is believed that the new rules will affect both private and commercial vehicles.

Government plans reportedly involve either banning polluting vehicles from entering certain areas of towns and cities, or issuing daily driving charges for those with diesels.

The measures are thought to affect nine of the UK’s ten most polluted cities.

In a further 25 towns, similar bans or charges will be brought in for commercial lorries, taxis and coaches.

New measures are also chalked up for London. The city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is expected to expand the area in which the new £12.50 T-Charge covers; it will eventually come into effect when entering Greater London, within the North and South Circular roads.

The T-Charge will begin from 23 October 2017, but will initially function in the current Congestion Charge Zone.

While the Government encouraged the public to buy diesels a decade ago – chiefly because they produce less CO2 than petrol cars – they have since backtracked. Diesel engines are thought to have other health consequences for the general public.

Particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel engines are the prime health concern.

Almost 300 health professional from campaign group Doctors Against Diesel recently put their name to a letter urging the Government to work harder in removing diesels from the nation’s roads.