London Mayor Sadiq Khan unveiled the toughest plans yet to tackle the most polluting vehicles in his city, proposing a £10 Emissions Surcharge.
Announced on Tuesday, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, unveiled plans to crack down on the most polluting vehicles, the toughest plan yet announced by any major city in the world. Specifically, Khan has proposed the introduction of a £10 Emissions Surcharge and an extended Ultra-Low Emission Zone.
“With nearly 10,000 people dying early every year in London due to exposure to air pollution, cleaning up London’s toxic air is now an issue of life and death,” said Sadiq Khan.
“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. British politicians at the time did an amazing thing and responded on the scale that was required. Today we face another pollution public health emergency in London and now it’s our turn to act for the good of Londoners and for future generations to come.”
“That’s why I’m launching a hard-hitting plan of action to clean up our filthy air. Tough challenges call for tough measures, so I’m proposing a new £10 charge for the most polluting vehicles in central London from 2017, followed by an even stronger crackdown on vehicles pumping out hazardous pollutants.”
The £10 charge, dubbed the T-charge, would be enacted on the most polluting vehicles entering central London from 2017 onwards, and would apply to all vehicles with pre-Euro 4 emissions standards (which equates, broadly speaking, to cars registered before 2005), and will cost an extra £10 per day on top of the existing Congestion Charge.
Further proposals include not only extending the Ultra-Low Emission Zone beyond central London from 2020 (for motorcycles, cars and vans, to the North and South Circular, and for lorries, buses and coaches London-wide), but also introducing the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone one year earlier, forward to 2019. Additionally, Khan proposed developing a detailed proposal for a national diesel scrappage scheme for the UK Government to implement, bringing the requirement for all double-deck buses to be ULEZ-compliant in central London forward to 2019, and implementing clean bus corridors by moving clean buses to the dirtiest bus routes.
“The Mayor’s drive to clean up the capital’s air is fantastic news for our patients and staff,” said Dr Peter Steer, Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH), who recently met with Mayor Khan and informed him of the devastating toll London’s air quality is having on his patients.
“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. When the UK’s most seriously ill children come to GOSH for our world class care, we want to ensure that they are not exposed to high levels of harmful pollution and so we are pleased improving London’s air quality is a priority for the Mayor.”