Drivers of older, more polluting cars will be charged an extra levy for entering central London from 23 October, the Mayor of London has announced.
Sadiq Khan said the £10 ‘Toxicity Charge’ would apply in the congestion charging zone typically to petrol and diesel cars registered before 2005.
“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,” Khan said. “The T-Charge is a vital step in tackling the dirtiest diesels.”
The move comes two days after the European Commission issued the government with its “final warning” for breaching legal pollution limits.
Khan described the levy as the “toughest emission standard of any major city”, but critics have questioned to what extent it will curb emissions.
Shaun Bailey, Conservative London Assembly’s environment spokesman, told the BBC TFL’s own consultation showed the T-charge will affect just 7 per cent of vehicles entering central London.
“Under assessment by his own people, the mayor’s flagship air pollution policy is predicted to have only a ‘negligible’ impact on air quality, reducing poisonous NOx gasses by just 1-3%,” Bailey reportedly said.
Other major cities have committed to drastic measures to combat pollution.
In December, Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City pledged to ban diesel cars and trucks by 2025.