The Mayor of London has launched a public consultation on his plans to double the number of drivers charged with a new levy by expanding the ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ).
Sadiq Khan wants to push the zone’s boundaries out to the North and South Circular roads from October 2021.
The expansion means 100,000 fewer people would live in areas with illegal pollution limits, City Hall said.
Critics say the levy could be the “final straw” for small businesses.
The initial ULEZ will be brought in on 8 April 2019, affecting around 60,000 vehicles a day.
If the zone is made bigger, up to 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 HGVs could be affected.
The most polluting cars, vans and motorbikes will have to pay £12.50 in addition to the congestion charge to drive through central London.
Polluting buses, coaches and HGVs will pay £100.
The charges will apply to petrol cars that do not meet Euro IV standards and diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro VI standards.
The mayor will consider Londoners’ suggested modifications before deciding whether to confirm his proposals.
Mr Khan said: “I am determined to take the bold action needed to protect the public from London’s poisonous, deadly air.”
Why make the ULEZ bigger?
City Hall claims by 2021, the benefits of expanding the ULEZ include:
- About 100,000 people will no longer live in areas exceeding legal pollution limits
- 71% reduction in schools in high pollution areas
- 28% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) road transport emissions in outer London
- 31% reduction in NOx road transport emissions in inner London
Bridget Fox, from the Campaign for Better Transport, welcomed the move but added: “We need fewer cars, not just newer cars.
“That means continued investment in a comprehensive network of high-quality public transport, and better cycling and walking facilities.”
Meanwhile the Federation of Small Businesses called for Mr Khan to rethink the scheme.
Sue Terpilowski said: “We know that the cost of doing business in London is already at shockingly high levels and for many, these charges will be the final straw.”
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