The world’s toughest emission standard, the £10 Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) to help tackle London’s lethal air pollution and get older more polluting cars off the roads has today been introduced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
From 7am drivers of older, more polluting petrol and the dirtiest diesel vehicles will pay the new T-Charge plus the Congestion Charge (C-Charge) – a total of £21.50 (£10 T-Charge and £11.50 C-Charge) every weekday they drive in the zone from 7am-6pm.
Up to 34,000 polluting vehicles every month could be liable for the T-Charge, which affects those that do not meet the Euro 4 standards for both PM and NOx emissions.
Since 1 January 2017 these polluting vehicles have made around 2.6 million trips within the zone, contributing to London’s toxic air.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched the T-Charge to tackle London’s filthy air pollution and prepare Londoners for the early introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which he is proposing to introduce as early as April 2019 and which will affect thousands more vehicles in the existing congestion zone, including all diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro 6 standards.
Recent health data has shown 7.9 million Londoners – nearly 95 percent of the population – live in areas exceeding the World Health Organisation guidelines on toxic air quality particles (known as PM2.5).
It is estimated that air pollution contributes to thousands of premature deaths each year in London, as well as having effects over the course of our lives, from smaller lungs in our children to greater risk of dementia and strokes when we get older.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As Mayor I am determined to take urgent action to help clean up London’s lethal air. The shameful scale of the public health crisis London faces, with thousands of premature deaths caused by air pollution, must be addressed.
“Today marks a major milestone in this journey with the introduction of the T-Charge to encourage motorists to ditch polluting, harmful vehicles.
“London now has the world’s toughest emission standard with older more polluting vehicles paying up to £21.50 a day to drive in the centre of the city. The T-charge is a stepping stone to the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which could be introduced as early as 2019.
“This is the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe. I am transforming our bus fleet, getting rid of the oldest polluting taxis and creating healthier streets that will leave a lasting legacy for our children. But I can’t do this alone. I urgently need government to step up and face their responsibilities by delivering a diesel scrappage fund and a Cleaner Air Act that is fit for purpose. I also need Londoners to work with me so we can phase out the use of the dirtiest polluting vehicles from our roads.“
Rosie Rogers, clean air campaigner at Greenpeace said: “It’s just not possible to clean up London’s air without cleaning up London’s roads, and that’s why we support the Mayor’s first steps to tackle air pollution by introducing the T-charge. London now joins Paris, Copenhagen and many other progressive cities in taking urgent steps towards removing polluting diesel cars from their streets.
“The ball is now in the court of our national government to grasp the urgency of the crisis and take more meaningful action to reduce the illegal levels of air pollution seriously harming people’s health across the UK.”
Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said:”The T-charge is an important step from the Mayor of London to deter our most polluting and harmful vehicles from entering Central London. We know toxic air can have a devastating impact on our health.
“This is why we look forward to seeing the Mayor go further and launch the Ultra-Low Emission Zone. However, if we are ever going to properly tackle air pollution the Government must commit to a fair and ambitious new Clean Air Act.”