In the few days since being named the new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has wasted little time in outlining changes he wishes to bring to London. Within those announcements is a series of new proposals aimed to drastically increase the air quality of London.
To tackle this the Mayor has included a new charge aimed at the most polluting vehicles in the capital. Known as the Toxicity or 'T-Charge', the new charge would be operated through the same network of cameras that currently pilot the London's congestion charging zone.
The amount of the charge was undisclosed, however reports have suggested that it will be based on NOx emissions and will require drivers whose car fails to meet the standards to pay a charge of £12.50. The charge would be on top of the current congestion charge that means that drivers could be paying up to £24 a day to be able to drive in London.
The Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) was also addressed by Khan, as he mentioned that he will extend it to include North and South Circular roads, dramatically increasing the zone's extremities. As it stands, drivers who enter the ULEZ will be required to pay a charge based on how clean their vehicle is. This is set to be introduced in 2020, however Khan hinted that this date could be brought forward.
The scheme is being put in place as an incentive for drivers to use cleaner cars in order to reduce the levels of nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas that is produced by diesel vehicles.
Sadiq Khan claimed that the former mayor, Boris Johnson, had left the city a 'laughing stock" internationally due to him being too slow to act on the matter.
When speaking at a school in east London, Khan said; "I have been elected with a clear mandate to clean up London's air - our biggest environmental challenge." Khan went on to mention that in the past London has only acted on pollution after it was in a state of emergency adding: "I want to act before an emergency, which is why we need big, bold and sometimes difficult policies if London is to match the scale of the challenge."
Khan issued facts that medical research has shown that over 10,000 people die annually in London due to polluted air.