London's new £10 T-Charge launches today

According to a 2015 study by researchers at the King's College London, almost 9,500 Londoners die prematurely every year as a result of long-term exposure to air pollution.

Drivers of older, more polluting diesel and petrol vehicles have to pay nearly twice as much to drive in central London, after the city administration has introduced a so-called "T-charge" to improve air quality.

Green groups today welcomed the introduction of the T-Charge, but some warned more support is needed to encourage drivers to switch to cleaner vehicles.

London will impose even tighter controls with the introduction of a "Ultra Low Emission Zone" in 2019. Khan said that this was "the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe".

The new "T-charge" applies to both diesel and gasoline vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4 emission standards outlined by the European Commission.

The fee mirrors the Congestion Charge by applying only to the central London zone and cars operating weekdays between 7am and 6pm.

Speaking to Sky News yesterday morning, Khan said the T-charge would cost about £7mn a year, which he said was a "price worth paying". Research by King College London found that 9,500 people die each year in the capital due to poor air quality. "There are children in London whose lungs are underdeveloped".

Shaun Bailey, conservative environment spokesman at the London Assembly, told BBC News: "As an asthmatic I'm well aware of how critical an issue this is for London but we need policies that actually deliver progress". He added that the additional charge to drive in London can help persuade drivers to buy more environmentally friendly vehicles.

London's tax on its oldest polluting vehicles comes out in full force Monday in a move to improve air quality.

However, she said it was "only one step towards clean air".


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