SMALL fleet operators running ageing diesel vehicles are facing a potentially ruinous daily air quality levy under new plans to clean up London’s atmosphere.
An extra £12.50 a day could be slapped on top of the existing congestion charge for drivers of the most polluting vehicles entering London by 2020.
The move, being promoted by Mayor Boris Johnson, has begun with a public consultation launched yesterday (Monday 27 October 2014) to improve London’s air quality.
London’s Evening Standard reported that clean air protagonists claim the main benefit of the world’s first “ultra low emission zone” (ULEZ) would be to halve toxic fumes, specifically nitrogen oxide and particulate matter mostly from diesel powered vehicles.
What diesels will qualify for the new ULEZ?
- It is proposed that those diesel cars that meet latest Euro 6 legislation will be exempt from the £12.50 charge. Those that do not will be charged
Cars, motorcycles, vans, minibuses, HGVs and coaches will all have to comply or pay a daily charge, which will for the largest vehicles will rise to £100 a day and the ultra low emission zone will apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Boris Johnson said: “Introducing the world’s first ultra low emission zone is an essential measure to improve London’s air quality and reduce NO2.
“Safeguarding Londoners’ health and well-being is a top priority for my administration.
“I understand that people need adequate time to switch to greener vehicles and help is at hand for those who will be hardest hit, but let’s be clear, we need to make these important changes ASAP to continue to improve Londoners’ quality of life and give everyone who lives in or visits the city the cleanest possible air to breathe.”
It is reckoned 4,300 people a year die every year in London because of poor air quality.
The ULEZ consultation, which runs from today until Friday 9 January 2015, is available online here.
More on the Boris diesel tax here.