London mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed that his £10 surcharge on ‘the oldest, most polluting vehicles’ entering central London will begin in October, with up to 10,000 vehicles a day affected.
Mr Khan said the new emissions levy - dubbed the ‘T-Charge’ – represents the toughest emission standard of any world city.
Oxford Street in central London
He said: ‘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. If we don’t make drastic changes now we won’t be protecting the health of our families in the future.'
The mayor repeated his call for the Government to introduce a diesel scrappage fund and bring in a new Clean Air Act.
Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, called the charge an important step to deter the most polluting and harmful vehicles from entering Central London.
She said: ‘Places like Oxford Street regularly break pollution World Health Organisation and EU limits on air that is safe for us to breathe. We’ve heard from people living with lung disease that the pollution levels are so high parts of the city have become a no-go zone.'
The charge will begin on 23 October, the start of the autumn half-term holiday, with up to 10,000 vehicles potentially liable every weekday.
Mr Khan also launched a free online vehicle checker on the Transport for London website so drivers can check whether their vehicle will be affected by the charge.
The charge, also known as the Emissions Surcharge, will apply to motorists who own vehicles that do not meet Euro 4 standards – typically those diesel and petrol vehicles registered before 2006.
It will operate on top of and during the same operating times as the existing Congestion Charge (Monday to Friday 7am-6pm). During these times, it will cost £21.50 to drive a pre-Euro 4 vehicle in the zone.