London Making Diesels More Expensive With New Levy

T-Charge enters into force in bid to choke off London air pollution at its source

Drivers of older, more polluting diesel and petrol vehicles have to pay nearly twice as much to drive in central London, after the city administration has introduced a so-called "T-charge" to improve air quality.

That's on top of an existing "Congestion Charge" aimed at decreasing traffic in the city.

London's air quality has frequently surpassed European Union limits in recent years, notably because of increased purchase of diesel-powered cars, which offer increased particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions. "The shameful scale of the public health crisis London faces, with thousands of premature deaths caused by air pollution, must be addressed", he added.

"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", he said in a statement.

He said he is taking "urgent action to help clean up London's lethal air".

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"Today marks a major milestone in this journey with the introduction of the T-Charge to encourage motorists to ditch polluting, harmful vehicles".

Speaking to Sky News yesterday morning, Khan said the T-charge would cost about £7mn a year, which he said was a "price worth paying".

But GLA Conservative Party member Shaun Bailey was critical of the T-charge, claiming the measure would not work effectively while also hurting small businesses.

Meanwhile on Friday Khan announced a new two-year collaboration with the Alan Turing Institute to develop new ways of modelling air quality in London using machine learning. "By boasting about a policy that so disproportionately penalises London's poorest drivers and puts jobs at risk, the Mayor is simply blowing more smoke into the capital's already-polluted atmosphere".

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