Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has begun the formal consultation process before a £10 charge for older is introduced in October 2017.
Owners of older vehicles that were manufactured in or before 2005 that do not meet Euro 4 emission standards for nitrogen oxide (NO2) will have to pay £10 upon entering the capital’s congestion charge zone.
According to statistics cited by Mr Khan, nearly 10,000 Londoners die from long-term exposure to air pollution every year and 443 schools in London are situated in areas exceeding safe air quality levels. The move comes to end what he is describing as London’s “public health emergency”.
Mr Khan said: “Toxic air in London is a health emergency that requires bold action, including introducing charges for older polluting vehicles and expanding the ultra low emissions zone.
“I am determined to help every Londoner breathe cleaner air. After the massive response to my first consultation I now need the public to let me know their views on my detailed proposals to help clean-up our filthy air.”
The news of the London of Mayor’s revised plans were met with disappointment by the Freight Transport Association.
FTA’s Head of National and Regional Policy Christopher Snelling said: “We stated before that the central ULEZ starting in 2019 and expanding in 2020 would cause significant issues – especially in the van sector where there will only be two-and-a-half to three years’ worth of compliant vehicles in the fleet. Typically, operators who rely on second-hand vehicles buy at four years old so it will place significant cost burdens on them.
Mr Snelling said that bringing the date forward would add further financial burden to small businesses, with no second hand vans available to meet the criteria.
He took issue with the extra burden placed on firms with a lack of support.
Mr Snelling commented: “London could improve air quality more quickly and reduce the burden on businesses at the same time by offering a temporary discount to the Congestion Charge for compliant vehicles prior to the ULEZ starting. The Government has said it has no interest in a scrappage scheme and we see no prospect of that changing.”
It is envisaged that the charge will come into force from October 2017.
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