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London to introduce vehicle pollution tax from October

By Ritvik Carvalho | February 20 2017

(Reuters) London will introduce a charge on the oldest and most polluting vehicles from October in a new effort to improve air quality, Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Friday.

Called the T-charge, the 10-pound ($12.43) daily tax will apply to diesel and petrol vehicles typically registered before 2006 which do not meet the so-called “Euro 4” 2005 European directive to regulate vehicle emissions.

The new charge will applied during the same 7am to 6pm weekday hours as the existing 11.5-pound congestion tax and could mean some owners paying a combined 21.50 pounds a day to drive in central London.

The announcement comes a few months after Britain’s High Court ruled that UK government measures to combat air pollution were failing to comply with European Union rules on nitrogen dioxide limits.

Drivers will be able to use an online tool to check whether their vehicle will be affected by the new levy, which comes into force on Oct. 23.

“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,” said mayor Khan in a statement.

“If we don’t make drastic changes now we won’t be protecting the health of our families in the future,” he added.

The new measure is part of an 875 million pound ($1.09 billion) effort by the mayor’s office to address air pollution in London, with the introduction of an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) slated for 2019.

Nearly 9,500 Londoners die prematurely every year as a result of long-term exposure to air pollution, according to a 2015 study by researchers at King’s College London.

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