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Minicabs, including Uber drivers, to pay congestion charge to help cut pollution

London mayor Sadiq Khan is to target thousands of minicab drivers with a new congestion charge in a bid to cut pollution.

Private Hire Vehicles currently avoid the daily £11.50 fee for driving in central London.

But City Hall plans to lift the exemption to coincide with London's new Ultra Low Emission Zone next Spring.

The Conservatives accused Mr Khan of 'hammering' drivers to plug a £1bn black hole in Transport for London's finances.

Only so-called 'zero emission' minicabs will be able to claim a Cleaner Vehicle Discount after April 8th 2019.

TfL estimates fewer than 1,000 of London's 88,000 PHVs will be eligible for the discount.

Transport bosses predict the new toll will force around 8,000 minicabs a day out of the central London C Charge zone.

Toxic air pollution in London is a major public health crisis that is stunting the lung development of our children and leads to thousands of premature deaths and increases the risk of asthma and dementia.

We have to make tough decisions to protect the health and wellbeing of Londoners and tackle harmful emissions from the most polluting vehicles.

We’ve prioritised cleaning up our bus fleet and the early introduction of the 24-hour Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London. Now we need private hire vehicles and taxis to play their part and help us clean up our filthy air.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON

This policy is nothing more than a smokescreen. The Mayor has blown a £1 billion black hole in the transport budget and now he is hellbent on hammering the PHV industry to boost the coffers.

This move could be the final nail in the coffin for some small PHV businesses, many of which have already gone under as a result of the Mayor’s decision to increase operator charges by as much as 12,000 percent. It won’t just be the big companies like Uber which will be detrimentally impacted by this change.

Londoners will find it more difficult to travel around our city, as increased costs will inevitably be passed on to customers.

– Andrew Boff, Conservative London Assembly Member