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£10 'Toxicity Charge' for London’s most polluting cars coming in October

Drivers of some of the oldest and most polluting cars will have to pay a £10 'toxicity charge' to drive in central London from October.

The 'T-charge' will apply to drivers whose vehicles do not meet Euro 4 emission standards - typically petrol and diesel cars registered before 2006 - in the latest move by the mayor to crack down on air pollution.

Air pollution is linked to 9,000 early deaths a year in London, one of many places hit by the UK's air quality crisis, which has prompted the European Commission to issue a "final warning" to the Government for repeated breaches of legal limits.

One road in the capital exceeded its allowed annual levels of nitrogen dioxide just five days into 2017.

Check if your car is liable for an emissions surcharge by clicking here

The emissions surcharge operates within the Congestion Zone Credit: TfL

Pollutants - much of which come from traffic, particularly diesel vehicles - cause health problems such as asthma, heart and lung diseases. They are also thought to affect children's health and development.

Up to 10,000 vehicles each weekday are expected to face the T-charge, which will operate on top of and during the same times as the congestion charge, so it will cost £21.50 to drive a pre-Euro 4 vehicle in the central London zone at those times.

It will be introduced on October 23, at the start of the autumn half-term, and will be in operation Mondays to Fridays, 7am to 6pm.

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.

That is why today, on the 14th anniversary of the start of the congestion charge, I’ve confirmed we are pressing ahead with the toughest emission standard of any major city, coming to our streets from October 23rd .

Londoners overwhelmingly support my plans to introduce this £10 charge because they feel when it comes to battling pollution the time for action is now.

– Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

The mayor's plan has come under fire from Conservatives on the London Assembly who claim it will have only a 'negligible' impact on pollution,

Unfortunately TfL’s own assessments of his T-charge show it to be little more than a vanity project that will do next to nothing to improve London’s air pollution. The charge will inflict crippling additional costs on small businesses and sole traders that could be the difference between folding or surviving, as well as causing expense, disruption and bureaucracy for London residents.

This entire proposal flies in the face of Sadiq Khan’s claims of being a ‘pro-business Mayor’ and imposes a pointless pollution tax that does nothing to tackle the issues it was created to combat.

– Shaun Bailey, London Assembly's environment spokesman

Website lets you see pollution outside your home, click here