Plans for what is thought to be the toughest crackdown on the most polluting vehicles by any major city around the world have been announced by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. A £10 charge for the most polluting vehicles and an extended Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) are part of a major public consultation recently launched. The public have until 29 July 2016 to give feedback on the first round of the consultation on the Mayor’s Clean Air Action plan. More detailed consultation will take place later this year and some measures could be implemented as early as 2017.
One of Khan’s proposals in the document is the implementation of a £10 Emissions Surcharge on the most polluting vehicles entering central London from 2017. This would apply to all vehicles that do not meet Euro4 and will cost an extra £10 per day on top of the existing Congestion Charge. The introduction a year earlier for the central ULEZ was announced, as was the extension of it beyond central London from 2020: for motorcycles, cars and vans, to the north and south Circular; and for lorries, buses and coaches London-wide. The plans include bringing forward the requirement for all double deckers to be ULEZ compliant in central London from 2020 to 2019. He also intends to implement clean bus corridors, which are aimed at tackling the worst pollution hotspots by delivering cleaner buses on the dirtiest routes.
Sadiq Khan said, ‘With nearly 10,000 people dying early every year in London due to exposure to air pollution, cleaning up London’s toxic air is now an issue of life and death.
It is the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act of 1956, which was passed following the great London smogs of the 1950s. Urgent action is now needed to ensure Londoners no longer have to fear the very air we breathe. I am also calling on the Government to work with me and to take more action to tackle air pollution. We can’t do this alone in London. The Government should seize the spirit of the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act and pass new legislation fit for the 21st century. This needs to provide new powers and legal protections to ensure that the existing legal limits for air pollutants are retained following Brexit.’