London’s Toxic Charge (T- Charge)
Today sees the start of Sadiq Khan’s new ‘T-Charge’ introduced for drivers entering Central London’s congestion charge zone in an effort to tackle the sharp rise in pollution the capital has experienced in recent years.
The focus of the charge is to reduce the levels of toxic air by charging £10 for diesel and petrol vehicles, including HGV’s, registered before 2006 which do not meet the so-called “Euro 4” European directive.
The new chargeable zone will mirror the existing congestion charge zone thus vehicles travelling through this area that do not meet the standards will pay both the Congestion Charge (£11.50) and the T-Charge (£10).
Earlier this year it was announced the air pollution in London passed level in Beijing with more recent studies stating 9,000 Londoners a year die prematurely due to long-term toxic air exposure.
Speaking on the matter the Mayor Khan stated: “Today marks a major milestone in this journey with the introduction of the T-charge to encourage motorists to ditch polluting, harmful vehicles”.
“London now has the world’s toughest emissions standard with older, more polluting vehicles paying up to £21.50 a day to drive in the centre of the city. This is the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe.”
The government have revealed the project will cost the tax payer £7m and will not make a profit however it is a “price worth paying to improve the quality of our air”, according to its supporters
There are some that believe that not everyone will see the benefits, questioning whether the new scheme will have further implications and may penalise the poor.
Rod McKenzie, Director of Policy at the Road Haulage Association, has told Sky News: “It will effectively outlaw and certainly tax all older vehicles and make business more expensive – it could put some hauliers under pressure to update fleets or potential put them out of business.”