London Toxicity Charge to start in Autumn

The Mayor of London has confirmed that the "Toxicity Charge" will be introduced on Monday 23rd October. The introduction of the T-Charge will see motorists of older and more heavily polluting vehicles need to pay £10 to enter central London.

With the Emissions Surcharge Zone covering the same area as the existing Congestion Charge Zone, it means car drivers could have to pay £21.50 to drive in the middle of the capital - with the £10 T-Charge payment to be made on top of the £11.50 Congestion Charge.

The move comes as officials attempt to tackle air pollution issues in London, with the T-Charge affecting drivers of the vast majority of pre-2006 vehicles. Up to 10,000 of the most polluting vehicles are expected to be liable for the levy every day, which will operate Monday-Friday from 7am to 6pm.

Those exempt from paying the T-Charge - though not the Congestion Charge - will those with Euro 4/IV emissions standard compliant engines for both petrol and diesel cars. The same minimum requirements are needed for vans, heavy goods vehicles, and coaches and buses too, though motorised tricycles and quadbikes have a minimum emissions standard of Euro 3.

As with the Congestion Charge, there is a £1 Auto Pay discount, and vehicles registered for Residents' Discount will only pay £1 each time they enter the zone. Exemptions will apply too such as historic cars, motorbikes, vehicles for disabled people, and emergency services vehicles.

The T-Charge will continue to run until the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone comes into effect, which will have stricter limits again. This is currently set to launch in September 2020, though Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn is looking to bring it forward to 2019, and also to increase the area covered from the current Congestion Charge Zone plans, to everything within the North and South Circular roads.

Sadiq Khan, said: "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. If we don't make drastic changes now we won't be protecting the health of our families in the future.

"That is why today (17th February), on the 14th anniversary of the start of the congestion charge, I've confirmed we are pressing ahead with the toughest emission standard of any major city, coming to our streets from October 23rd.

"Londoners overwhelmingly support my plans to introduce this £10 charge because they feel when it comes to battling pollution the time for action is now.

"The T-Charge is a vital step in tackling the dirtiest diesels before I introduce the world's first Ultra Low Emission Zone as early as 2019.

"I will continue to do everything in my power to help protect the health of Londoners and clean our filthy air. But now is the time for Government to show real leadership and join me by introducing a diesel scrappage fund and bring in the new Clean Air Act we desperately need."

The new T-Charge will use the same infrastructure as the Congestion Charge Zone, meaning cameras will monitor all roads around the area to see which cars enter.

Dr Ben Lane, Director at Next Green Car, commented: "While only being launched at short notice, Next Green Car broadly supports the London Mayor's announcement of the T-Charge from 23 October 2017 to address the capital's poor air quality, which has been allowed to deteriorate for too long.

"We estimate that the T-Charge will affect around 10 million of the oldest, most polluting cars on UK roads with Euro emissions standards of Euro 3 or worse. Next Green Car will be rolling out additional tools to help motorists check if their car or van is affected by the new measure."

You can find out your used car's emissions standard by using the NGC Used Car Search. Select your vehicle and the Euro Standard will be displayed in the Vehicle Emissions info box.

Drivers can visit a new website to check if their car will be affected by the T-Charge.

Find out more about emissions here

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:17th Feb 2017

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