The Greater London Authority (GLA) has launched an ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) for vehicles in the centre of the city, developed to reduce toxic air pollution.
The zone applies to the same area as the existing congestion charge and replaces the T-charge for older vehicles.
It will operate on a 24/7 basis and provide for the imposition of a charge of £12.50 per day for cars, vans and motorbikes affected and £100 per day for lorries, buses and coaches.
Their movements will be monitored by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and automatically checked against a database of vehicles – primarily older ones – that do not comply with low emission standards.
The database has compiled using information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the, Driver and Vehicle Agency of Northern Ireland and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), along with generic vehicle weight data typical of the make and model, and drivers and operators who have registered with Transport for London (TfL).
Alex Williams, TfL’s director of planning, said: “The ULEZ will nearly halve road based nitrogen dioxide emissions in central London, reducing air pollution which has led to thousands of premature deaths in the capital and stunted the development of children’s lungs.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan described it as the centrepiece of plans to clean up London’s air.
TfL has supported the effort with the development of an online ULEZ vehicle checker for drivers to discover whether their vehicle will be affected by the charges. It said the tool has been used more than 3.2 million times over the past nine months.
The GLA said the T-charge, which was introduced as a stepping stone to the ULEZ in February 2017, has already helped to increase the proportion of compliant vehicles in central London from 39% to 61%, and help to reduce the overall number of vehicles by 11%.
It added that its polling shows that 90% of drivers know something about the ULEZ scheme.
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