London's transport authority has added a supplementary GBP10 charge ('T-charge'; T for toxicity) for drivers of older, polluting vehicles who drive into the congestion charging zone in the centre of the city.

Vehicles that do not meet the Euro IV exhaust standard - mainly petrol and diesel cars sold before 2006 - will be subject to the new charge, which is enforced from today (October 23). Like the congestion charge (GBP21.50), the T-charge applies between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. The congestion charge is aimed at reducing traffic levels.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said he wanted to prepare Londoners for the ultra-low emission zone being introduced in April 2019. He said: "As mayor, I am determined to take urgent action to help clean up London's lethal air. The scale of the public health crisis London faces is shameful. Roughly speaking each year more than 9,000 Londoners die prematurely because of the poor quality air - children in our city whose lungs are underdeveloped, with adults who suffer from conditions such as asthma, dementia and strokes directly caused by poor quality air.

"Today marks a major milestone in this journey with the introduction of the T-charge to encourage motorists to ditch polluting, harmful vehicles. London now has the world's toughest emissions standards with older, more polluting vehicles paying up to £21.50 a day to drive in the centre of the city. This is the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe."

Commenting on the introduction of London's Emissions Surcharge (also known as a 'Toxicity Charge' or 'T-Charge') on 23rd October, Matthew Walters, Head of Consultancy and Customer Data Services at LeasePlan UK, highlighted the need for fleets to start planning for the Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London.

"Many fleets will already be ready for London's T-Charge. So long as their cars, vans and HGVs are at least Euro 4/IV compliant, they will avoid the £10-a-day surcharge that Sadiq Khan is imposing on older vehicles. 

"Despite this, the introduction of the T-Charge is still a significant moment for fleets. It represents another step towards an Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London, which is likely to come into force in 2019. A greater number of vehicles will be affected by this measure, as well as by the Clean Air Zones planned for elsewhere in the country.

"LeasePlan is encouraging fleets - and motorists more generally – to prepare for this future, which is why we've become a founding partner of EV100. We're always looking at what's next, and greener motoring is a crucial part of that."

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