Oct. 23 (UPI) — The mayor of London on Monday announced the beginning of a new fee that drivers of older, more polluting vehicles in the city must pay.
Mayor Sadiq Khan introduced the toxicity charge, or T-charge, to help improve London’s air quality and put newer and less polluting vehicles on the streets.
Drivers of gas- or diesel-powered vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4/IV emission standards will have to pay $13.20 per day to drive in central London during daylight hours. The fee is in addition to a daily “congestion charge” of $15.18 to enter the city.
The new charge applies to most vehicles registered before 2006 that do not meet standards introduced in European Union countries in 2005. The standards have since been superseded by more stringent regulations.
Khan said the T-charge will bring in more than $9 million per year, but with regulation and inspection, “We don’t make a profit from the T-charge. It’s costing us. So the T-charge will cost us money but I think that’s a price worth paying to improve the quality of our air.”
London’s air quality has frequently surpassed EU limits in recent years, notably because of increased purchase of diesel-powered cars, which offer increased particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions.
Khan noted a 20 percent decline in August of the sale of diesel-powered cars. He added that the additional charge to drive in London can help persuade drivers to buy more environmentally friendly vehicles.