London begins levying 'T-charge' for older, more polluting vehicles

T-Charge set to roll out in London on Monday

Charges for driving the oldest, most-polluting vehicles into central London have nearly doubled after a £10 toxicity charge, or T-Charge, came into force.

The fee mirrors the Congestion Charge by applying only to the central London zone and cars operating weekdays between 7am and 6pm.

But the government says that cars manufactured after 2006 may also be subjected to the charge.

"We urgently need a programme of meaningful financial assistance to help drivers of the dirtiest vehicles switch to something cleaner, and bold policies to cut traffic over all", Friends of the Earth pollution campaigner Jenny Bates said. Its introduction today gives London the toughest emission standard of any city in the world, the Mayor's Office said.

Spokesman Simon Birkett said: "The Mayor pledged to restore London's air quality to legal and safe limits and that means he has to do a whole lot more".

Drivers of high polluting vehicles will therefore pay a total of £21.50 to drive in central London as the T-Charge zone applies to the same area as the £11.50 Congestion Charge.

The university estimates that air pollution is responsible for 9,400 premature deaths in the capital every year.

The measures comes after Britain's High Court ruled that United Kingdom government measures to combat air pollution were failing to comply with European Union rules on nitrogen dioxide limits.

The T-Charge has been billed as a big step forward in the battle against the poisonous particles that are pushed into London's air. "Such actions will improve the air quality in our capital and in time will save lives".

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