London ‘T-Charge’ for older cars to come into force from October
Sadiq Khan has revealed an emissions surcharge (or T-Charge) of £10 will be introduced from 23 October.
The new measure will affect drivers of both petrol and diesel vehicles made before 2005, and is aimed at combating the increasing levels of air pollution in the capital.
The announcement comes just days after Khan put proposals for a diesel scrappage scheme before ministers, which would see incentives offered to tempt drivers to give up their ‘dirty diesels’ and opt for hybrid or electric vehicles instead.
The surcharge will apply to vehicles that were registered before 2005 – when Euro 4 emissions standards were introduced. Drivers of private cars, commercial vehicles, lorries and buses will all be required to pay the charge if their vehicle falls foul.
This new levy will mean that the oldest, most polluting vehicles will have to pay £21.50 per day if they plan to drive in central London between 7am and 6pm on weekdays, although Khan has confirmed the standard £11.50 congestion charge will not see a price hike.
Commenting on the new measure, Sadiq Khan said: “It is the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act of 1956, which was passed following the great London smogs of the 1950s. The legislation made a huge difference to life in London and saved countless lives.
“A hidden killer”
“Just as in the 1950s, air pollution in London today is literally killing Londoners. But unlike the smoky pollution of the past, today’s pollution is a hidden killer.”
Khan also plans to extend the Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) from central areas of the city to encompass the majority of London’s boroughs. This would see the boundary extended to the North and South Circular roads by 2020.
He also proposes that the forthcoming Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) should be implemented a year earlier than planned, in 2019. By 2020, it too would cover the same, widened area of the existing LEZ.
Commenting on Khan’s plans, Peter Steer, chief executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “The Mayor’s drive to clean up the capital’s air is fantastic news for our patients and staff. Children living in highly polluted areas are four times more likely to have reduced lung function in adulthood, yet improving air quality has been shown to halt and reverse this effect.”
9,500 deaths per year in the capital are believed to result from long-term exposure to air pollution. Coming on the 60th anniversary of The Clean Air Act, these new proposals aim to drastically reduce this figure.