Today (8th April 2019) marks the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London in a bid to reduce toxic air pollution in the city.
Older, more polluting vehicles will face a fee of £12.50 to enter the centre of the capital. Diesel cars must be less than around 4 years to avoid the charge and petrol cars must be less than around 13 years.
Transport for London (TfL) is hoping that the new fee will reduce the number of polluting cars in the capital and estimates that around 40,000 cars will be affected every day. It also believes the scheme will result in a reduction in toxic emissions from road transport by about 45% in 2 years.
The fee introduction comes as Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, stated that London’s air pollution was a “public health emergency” and it’s “important we make progress” in tackling air pollution.
Last year a report by the Health Effects Institute found that more than 95% of the world’s population breathe unsafe and polluted air. The effects of air pollution have been shown in both health and education. A journal from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that polluted air can cause everyone to reduce their education level by one year. Health services are also feeling the burden with around a £6billion cost to the NHS every year!
Let’s hope that the new ULEZ fee can reduce the number of polluting cars on the road and enable us to begin to reduce air pollution levels across the UK, using London as a working example.