In Brief

London’s new £10 T-Charge launches today

City Mayor says vehicle pollution levy will not make a profit but is ‘a price worth paying to improve the quality of our air’

Owners of old, high polluting vehicles will have to fork out an extra £10 when driving in central London today as Mayor Sadiq Khan’s T-Charge comes into force. 

The charge applies to petrol and diesel vehicles with engines that fail to conform to Euro 4 emission standards, The Guardian says. These are generally cars registered before 2006. 

But the government says that cars manufactured after 2006 may also be subjected to the charge. Drivers should check their vehicle’s number plate here to see whether they are subject to the £10 fee. 

Drivers of high polluting vehicles will therefore pay a total of £21.50 to drive in central London as the T-Charge zone applies to the same area as the £11.50 Congestion Charge.  

Speaking to Sky News, Khan said: “We don’t make a profit from the T-charge – it’s costing us.” 

He says it’s “a price worth paying to improve the quality of our air” and that it will cost “roughly speaking” £7m a year. 

As for the run-up to the fee being implemented, Khan says: “I will continue to do everything in my power to help protect the health of Londoners and clean our filthy air.”

But BBC News reports that opponents to the T-Charge believe it will have a negative impact on small business owners and penalise the city’s poorest drivers.

Sue Terpilowski, a spokesperson for the Federation of Small Businesses, told the news site: “The introduction of the T-Charge comes at a time when small and micro-businesses in London are already facing astonishingly high property, employment and logistics costs. 

She said there was a fear this would be “the final straw that closes businesses and takes jobs.”

But not everyone shares her view. Friends of the Earth campaigner Jenny Bates told Sky News that a programme of “meaningful financial assistance” was urgently needed “to help drivers of the dirtiest vehicles switch to something cleaner,” as well as “bold policies” to cut traffic over all.

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