Emissions ‘T-Charge’ comes into force in London
Drivers of the most polluting petrol and diesel vehicles will be forced to pay a £10 ‘T-Charge’ in central London as part of an effort to tackle illegal air pollution levels in the capital.
This is expected to affect up to 34,000 polluting vehicles every month, and comes in preparation for the introduction of an ultra-low emission zone planned for April 2019.
On top of the T-Charge, which came into effect on Monday, motorists will also be subject to the £11.50 congestion charge, meaning drivers could be forced to fork out a total of £21.50 every day.
This comes after research found 95% of London’s population lives in areas exceeding World Health Organization guidelines for toxic air particles responsible for 29,000 premature deaths in the UK every year.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said the UK’s capital now has the world’s toughest emission standard in the world, and that the T-Charge would go some way to address the “shameful” public health crisis in London.
“This is the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe, creating healthier streets that will leave a lasting legacy for our children,” he added.
The number of older more polluting vehicles driving in the congestion zone has already dropped 15% since the T-charge was originally announced in February, according to data from Transport for London.
A further drop is expected, with approximately 40% of motorists set to upgrade their vehicles, and around 10% predicted to switch to alternatives like public transport in the first year of the charge being implemented.
In addition to the T-Charge, the level of funding for tackling air quality is set to double to £875m over the next five years, while several standards for heavy vehicles, van, cars and motorbikes are currently in the pipeline.
“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,” Greenpeace clean air campaigner, Rosie Rogers, said.