Mayor Sadiq Khan orders crackdown on capital’s ‘lethal’ air
London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced plans for an ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) that would charge the most polluting cars entering the city’s central area.
The worst polluting cars and vans will have to pay a daily charge to drive in central London with the aim of reducing nitrogen dioxide by 50 percent.
From that date, any petrol car manufactured after 2006 or any diesel car manufactured after 2015 will have to pay £12.50. The charge is in addition to the £11.50 daily congestion charge.
The charge area will expand from central London as far as the North and South Circular roads by 2021, the Mayor added.
“The air in London is lethal and I will not stand by and do nothing,” Mr Khan said in a press release on Tuesday.
“I want to expand the ULEZ from 2020 for heavy vehicles such as buses, coaches and trucks so that all of London will benefit from cleaner air.
“Then from 2021, I want to expand it up to the North and South Circular roads for light vehicles, including cars and vans. These measures will help improve the air that millions of Londoners breathe.”
Sadiq Khan also said the government needed to step in and offer drivers an incentive to switch their old, polluting cars for cleaning models.
“Ministers need to deliver a national vehicle scrappage fund, reform fiscal incentives like vehicle excise duty and pass a powerful new Clean Air Act to Act end the toxic smog in London once and for all,” he said.
Friends of the Earth London campaigner Sophie Neuburg said: “The Mayor is absolutely right to announce plans to reduce the use of diesel in London – and call on Government to take stronger action nationwide.
“His proposals to introduce an ULEZ earlier than originally planned, and expand it to the North and South Circular are a good first step. But as things stand, people in inner London will still be breathing in pollution belched out by dirty diesel vehicles for years to come.
“Sadiq Khan must follow the lead of Paris and Madrid, and commit to phase out diesel from London altogether by 2025.”
But the chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce added: “We have significant concerns about the cost impact on business and would still call for a transitional fund to help those smaller businesses who could possibly go out of business without such support.”