London begins levying 'T-charge' for older, more polluting vehicles

Charges for driving the oldest, most-polluting vehicles into central London have nearly doubled after a £10 toxicity charge, or T-Charge, came into force.

The university estimates that air pollution is responsible for 9,400 premature deaths in the capital every year.

"City Hall says as many as 34,000 vehicles will be affected, but plans have already been set to replace the T-Charge with an Ultra Low Emission Zone from 2019, which is expected to affect thousands more".

"As mayor I am determined to take urgent action to help clean up London's lethal air". People living within the zone and driving cars covered by the new charge are eligible to pay as little as £11.05 a day in total for the two.

Mr Khan said: "Since we announced the T-Charge, the amount of the most polluting vehicles coming into the heart of London has fallen by 15% so we're really seeing a change in behaviour and that's what the T-Charge is about". Khan said that this was "the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe".

The charge applies to petrol and diesel vehicles with engines that fail to conform to Euro 4 emission standards, The Guardian says.

But the T-Charge has divided public opinion, with many accusing the scheme of targeting Britain's poorest drivers. Friends of the Earth campaigner Jenny Bates told Sky News that a programme of "meaningful financial assistance" was urgently needed "to help drivers of the dirtiest vehicles switch to something cleaner", as well as "bold policies" to cut traffic over all.

"The Ultra-Low Emissions Zone, plus this means that by 2020 - the end of my first term - [there will be a] 50% reduction in nox and particulate matters in Central London", he said.

London's tax on its oldest polluting vehicles comes out in full force Monday in a move to improve air quality.

  • Delores Daniels