The T-Charge has been billed as a big step forward in the battle against the poisonous particles that are pushed into London’s air. Research by King College London found that 9,500 people die each year in the capital due to poor air quality. Children are particularly at risk due to their developing lungs. UCL’s Day nursery in Bloomsbury is one of 27 nurseries in the capita in areas that fall foul of legal air quality limits. The Centre has installed a ‘pollution room', and area where kids play indoors when toxic air levels are high.
If you have a vehicle that does not comply with Euro 4 standards on emissions you will have to pay and extra £10 to drive through central London - meaning a total daily fee £21.50 when combined with the current congestion charge.
The plans have come under criticism from conservative members of the London assembly and the federation of small businesses. They believe the levy unfairly affects self-employed workers and small company owners who cannot afford to buy a new vehicle. Conservative London Assembly Member Shaun Bailey says, “As an asthmatic I’m well aware of how critical an issue this is for London but we need policies that actually deliver progress.
“When the Mayor’s own assessments prove it won’t work, the T-charge becomes nothing more than an attack on London’s poorest drivers and small businesses."
City Hall says as many as 34,000 vehicles will be affected, but plans have already been set to replace the T-Charge with an Ultra Low Emission Zone from 2019, which is expected to affect thousands more.