Tuesday, May 28

Toxicity charge to help clean up air quality

A new road charge in London will be introduced next month to help tackle emissions from the oldest polluting vehicles.

The Toxicity Charge is being introduced by Transport for London. From Monday 23 October as part of a package of actions intended to help clean up London’s dangerously polluted air, a new charge for drivers will be in place.

The T-Charge is an additional charge to the existing Congestion Charge scheme and entails a £10 supplement for vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4 standards for both PM and NOx (largely equating to vehicles registered before 2006 or over 10 years old).

It only applies in Congestion Charge hours Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm and to the same area. This excludes bank holidays and the period between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day inclusive.

There is a 90 per cent discount for residents, a 100 per cent discount for blue badge holders and exemptions for emergency service vehicles, certain NHS and Ministry of Defence vehicles and motorbikes.

In Tower Hamlets we know how air pollution contributes to thousands of premature deaths each year in London, from smaller lungs in our children to greater risk of dementia and strokes when we get older.

TfL have a tool on their website that helps people check if your vehicle meets the required emissions standard. This is available at: www.tfl.gov.uk/t-charge

As road transport is responsible for around half of NOx emissions in London, and around 88 per cent of these emissions are caused by diesel vehicles.

As buses and taxis become cleaner Transport for London estimate the road transport pollution contribution from diesel cars will increase dramatically, from 24 per cent in 2013 to 40 per cent in 2020.

Tower Hamlets supports the Mayor’s air quality programme is expected to reduce NOx emissions by more than a half and PM2.5 emissions by more than a third by 2025 across the whole of London.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:  Tackling air pollution remains a major priority for the council and I welcome the new toxicity charge being introduced by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Given the major impact air quality has on residents, and particurlarly young children, we need to do all we can to reduce the amount of highly polluting vehicles. We know this issue can only change when we have a joined up approach across the London.

Cllr Rachel Blake, Cabinet Member for Strategic Development, Waste and Air Quality said: A T-charge is one of a number of schemes which will help us tackle the significant air quality challenge we have in London. This scheme takes action while supporting residents with a reduced rate and a 100 per cent discount for blue badge holders. We would like to see more action on this, such as a national scrappage scheme to support residents making changes to improve air quality.

– Press realise