New T-Charge introduced to cut traffic pollution

A new levy on the most polluting vehicles, described by London’s mayor Sadiq Khan as the ‘world’s toughest emission standard’, has come into effect in central London today (23 Oct).

The £10 T-Charge, which broadly speaking applies to diesel and petrol vehicles registered before 2006, operates during the same times as the Congestion Charge (Monday to Friday 7am-6pm).

The new charge, which will affect an estimated 34,000 vehicles each month, means that some drivers will have to pay as much as £21.50 a day to drive in the centre of the Capital.

While acknowledging the need to tackle pollution, the RAC says the speed with which the new charge has been introduced will most affect those on lower incomes, who have ‘neither the time nor the resources to replace their vehicles quickly’.

First announced in February 2017, the T-Charge affects vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4 standards for both PM and NOx emissions – typically those registered before 2006. Estimates suggest that to date in 2017, these vehicles have made around 2.6 million trips within the zone.

To help motorists know if they will be affected, TfL has created a free online vehicle checker – which since launch has been used by more than 153,000 people.

Sadiq Khan says the new T-Charge will help prepare Londoners for the early introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which could come into effect as early as April 2019.

Sadiq Khan said:

“I am determined to take urgent action to help clean up London’s lethal air. The shameful scale of the public health crisis London faces, with thousands of premature deaths caused by air pollution, must be addressed.

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

Nick Lyes, RAC roads policy spokesman, said:

“There is little doubt that we need to clean up London’s air and the mayor is right to look at the oldest vehicles because these are more likely to be the most polluting.

“However, the T-Charge has had a quick implementation since it was first announced a year ago, and those drivers likely to be most impacted are those from lower income backgrounds as well as smaller, possibly struggling businesses who have had neither the time nor the resources to replace their vehicles quickly.”


23 October 2017