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London fights pollution with old diesel auto charge
February 22 2018, 04:18 | Rex Rios
The new 'T-charge' applies to vehicles in London that do not meet Euro 4 standards
Drivers of the most pollutingvehicles must from now on pay a daily charge of up to £21.50 to drive in to central London. That's on top of an existing £11.50 ($15) congestion charge collected from drivers in the city center.
Pre-Euro 4 vehicles are typically those registered before 2006, but Transport for London suggests that anyone who has a vehicle registered before 2008 check if it is liable for the charge.
London's air quality has frequently surpassed European Union limits in recent years, notably because of increased purchase of diesel-powered cars, which offer increased particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions.
The university estimates that air pollution is responsible for 9,400 premature deaths in the capital every year. "This is the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe".
The mayor, Sadiq Khan, said he wanted to prepare Londoners for the ultra-low emission zone being introduced in April 2019. "It's costing us. So the T-charge will cost us money but I think that's a price worth paying to improve the quality of our air".
Green groups today welcomed the introduction of the T-Charge, but some warned more support is needed to encourage drivers to switch to cleaner vehicles.
But GLA Conservative Party member Shaun Bailey was critical of the T-charge, claiming the measure would not work effectively while also hurting small businesses. "By boasting about a policy that so disproportionately penalises London's poorest drivers and puts jobs at risk, the Mayor is simply blowing more smoke into the capital's already-polluted atmosphere".
"That means fewer adults suffering from asthma, strokes and dementia, but also children hopefully not having the under-developed lungs they now do".
However, she said it was "only one step towards clean air".