The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced the introduction of a £10 ‘T-Charge’ targeting 10,000 of the oldest, most polluting vehicles operating within the capital. The charge will be brought in on October 23 – the start of autumn half-term.
The T-Charge will walk alongside the Congestion Charge and will apply Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm. The owners of diesel and petrol vehicles manufactured before 2005 that do not meet Euro 4 emissions standards for nitrogen oxide (NO2) and particulates will have to pay.
Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s staggering that we live in a city where the air is so toxic that many of our children are growing up with lung problems. If we don’t make drastic changes now we won’t be protecting the health of our families in the future.”
He added that he considered the T-Charge a vital step in tackling the dirtiest diesels and said that he planned to introduce the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone as early as 2019.
“I will continue to do everything in my power to help protect the health of Londoners and clean our filthy air. But now is the time for Government to show real leadership and join me by introducing a diesel scrappage fund and bring in the new Clean Air Act we desperately need.”
The system will use a camera-based mechanism for enforcement and will monitor both diesel and petrol vehicles.
Leon Daniels, Transport for London’s (TfL) Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “London’s air quality crisis is one of the biggest challenges we face and we are working alongside the Mayor to address it. The T-Charge is a crucial part of this work and will discourage drivers of the oldest, most polluting vehicles from driving in central London. To help drivers we have created an online compliance checker, which can be found on the TfL website, that enables people to easily establish whether they will be affected by the charge.”
The measure is however only expected to lead to a small reduction in toxic fumes.
Conservative London Assembly environment spokesman, Shaun Bailey, told the BBC that TfL’s consultation showed the T-Charge would affect just 7 per cent of vehicles entering the Congestion Charge zone.
"Under assessment by his own people, the mayor's flagship air pollution policy is predicted to have only a 'negligible' impact on air quality, reducing poisonous NOx gasses by just 1-3%," Mr Bailey said.