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Khan introduces £10 ‘toxic’ vehicle charge to tackle London air pollution

London’s new £10 ‘T-Charge’ has been launched today, in an effort to drive down air pollution in the capital.

The fee will be coupled with the pre-existing congestion charge – meaning people driving certain vehicles will be hit with £21.50 cost to drive in the city centre.

The new policy will be introduced at 7am today and hit those driving older diesel cars or petrol cars which do not meet Euro 4 standards.

TfL has advised anyone with a petrol-powered car which was registered before 2008 to check if they are affected by the charge.

Toxicity in the capital has become an increasing problem in recent years, with nearly 95% of residents living in areas which the World Health Organisation (WHO) deem as exceeding guidelines. However, opponents of the scheme say it will hit London’s poorest drivers the hardest.

“As mayor I am determined to take urgent action to help clean up London’s lethal air,” commented mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. “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.

“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.”

Khan also called on motorists to embrace the scheme and stop using certain vehicles to begin steps towards better quality air. The mayor made a further plea to government, asking for a “diesel scrappage fund” and a fit-for-purpose Cleaner Air Act.

The charge is expected to be the beginning of a string of toxicity legislation which will include the proposed April 2019 Ultra-Low Emission Zone. The future policy will hit vehicles which do not meet the September 2015 Euro 6 emission standards.

Low air quality has been linked with a number of health problems, including asthma and heart problem.

Professor Stephen Holgate, from the Royal College of Physicians, explained: “We now know that air pollution has a substantial impact on many chronic long-term conditions, increasing strokes and heart attacks in susceptible individuals.

“The implementation of the T-charge is a positive step towards cleaning up London’s air and it is showing to the world that it is possible to change behaviours in order to reduce the harms from high polluting vehicles. Such actions will improve the air quality in our capital and in time will save lives.”

The T-Charge will be in place from 7am to 6pm every weekday and TfL estimate that the policy will affect 34,000 vehicles a month.

Top image: AP Photo, Lefteris Pitarakis

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Bobbyboy   24/10/2017 at 17:22

I think this is an unfair step towards all that drive perfectly good pre 2008 vehicles a better paln would have been to construct near the end of Motorways and tube/train stations multi story car parks that would reduce the numbers of cars going into the city with easy park and ride type links. Introducing this charge has not given vehicle owners the chance to change vehicles first.

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