T-Charge: New London traffic charge comes into force
Drivers of the most polluting cars will face an additional daily charge when entering central London, as the city is battling air pollution.
Starting on Monday, gas and diesel cars are facing a toxicity charge of 10 pounds a day, in addition to the congestion charge of 11.5 pounds they are already paying every time they enter the central part of the city.
The new rules apply primarily to cars registered before 2006 and may include some registered before 2008.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said more than 9,000 premature deaths are caused by poor air quality annually, and the T-Charge will encourage people to give up polluting, harmful vehicles.
"We have more than 9,000 deaths premature prematurely each year caused by the poor-quality air. We have children in London whose lungs are underdeveloped because of the poor-quality air. Adults suffering from conditions from asthma to dementia and strokes because of the poor-quality air and the idea of the T-charge is the toughest vehicle emissions surcharge in the world to try and change behavior. So those who drive the most polluting vehicles change their behavior and move to cleaner vehicles, or move to public transport or walk in and cycling when they can."
The mayor said the new policy would cost roughly 7 million pounds, but it's a price worth paying.
"The T-charge will cost us roughly speaking seven million pounds a year, but it's a price worth paying because of the air being improved. The ultra-low emission zone will bring in revenues and that revenues will be ring fenced to improve the quality of air."
The tax will affect up to 34,000 vehicles every month, about 6 percent of vehicles which come into central London. But it has already set the tone for future policies.
Rod McKenzie from the Road Haulage Association said the new charges will have a big impact on business.
"It's a big impact on business. In London the South East then effectively by extension the rest of the country. So, everyone is affected by this. It will effectively outlaw and certainly tax all older vehicles and make business more expensive. It could even put some hauliers out of business."
The new policy is also facing mixed reactions among the public as supporters deemed it as a life-benefiting policy while opponents said the scheme would affect the poorest drivers.
Fees will be charged from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the work-week.
London will impose even tighter controls with the introduction of an "Ultra Low Emission Zone" in 2019.
Charges on polluting cars will be extended to include nights and weekends.
For CRI, I'm Li Yi.