Petrol and diesel driven cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040, in an effort to reduce air pollution.

The Government is also expected to announce that councils will receive £255m to tackle diesel emissions. The fund will form part of a wider £3bn package to improve the nation’s air quality.

A national clean air strategy is to be published by the government. It is expected to lay down significant support for electric vehicles – ahead of a High Court deadline.

The measures are seen as a step in the right direction by environmental campaigners, but they said they wanted more details.

There have been demands for clean air zones, paid for and mandated by the government. There have also been calls for charges to be levied on the most polluting vehicles if they enter areas where air pollution is already high.

Following a long-running legal battle, the courts ordered the government to unveil new plans to tackle air pollution, particularly in relation to the harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide, which is at illegal levels in some areas.

Courts said that previous plans were not sufficient to meet EU pollution limits.

According to the Environment Secretary Michael Gove, local authorities will receive more than £200m to deal with especially polluted roads.

"What we're saying to local authorities is come up with an imaginative solution to these proposals," he told the BBC's Today programme.

When asked if there might be charges for drivers of certain vehicles, Gove said: "I don't believe that it is necessary to bring in charging, but we will work with local authorities in order to determine what the best approach is."