After years of inaction and the threat of EU fines under his predecessor, Boris Johnson, I was delighted to see Sadiq take the swift action he promised in his manifesto on an issue that affects us all – London’s air quality.
The Mayor launched a consultation at Great Ormond Street Hospital on Tuesday as the evidence mounts that not only does poor air quality shorten adult lives – With the equivalent of 9,416 Londoners dying from long-term exposure to air pollution every year – its impact on children’s health both now and in their futures as adults is also increasingly clear, with poor air quality lowering children’s lung capacity for life.
Latest research, buried by Boris Johnson and revealed by Sadiq Khan soon after he took over the Mayoralty revealed over 443 schools in the capital are in areas exceeding safe legal pollution levels.
Sadiq wants to take urgent action to help end London’s ‘public health emergency’ and clean up the capital’s filthy air.
From new charges for the oldest most polluting vehicles, to improved alerts for high-pollution episodes, the Mayor is asking Londoners for their views on his Clean Air Action plan.
The public have until Friday 29th July 2016 to feed back on the first round of the consultation, further more detailed consultation will take place later this year and some measures could be implemented as early as 2017.
Key proposals include:
- Implementing a £10 Emissions Surcharge (dubbed the ‘T-charge’) on the most polluting vehicles entering central London from 2017. The charge would apply to all vehicles with pre-Euro 4 emission standards (broadly speaking those registered before 2005) and will cost an extra £10 per day on top of the existing Congestion Charge.
- Introducing the central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone one year earlier in 2019
- Extending the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (‘ULEZ’) beyond central London from 2020: for motorcycles, cars and vans, to the North and South Circular; and for lorries, buses and coaches London-wide
- Developing a detailed proposal for a national diesel scrappage scheme for Government to implement
- Bringing forward the requirement for all double–deck buses to be ULEZ-compliant in central London from 2020 to 2019
- Implementing clean bus corridors – tackling the worst pollution hotspots by delivering cleaner buses on the dirtiest routes
The Emissions Surcharge in 2017, followed by an expanded ULEZ in 2020, would be the toughest crackdown on the most polluting vehicles by any major city around the world.
The first consultation will run from 5th July to 29th July 2016. Londoners are being encouraged to take part by completing a survey and participating in online discussions around each of the aforementioned issues.
You can participate in the consultation here