London mulls pollution charge on diesel vehicles

Jul 29, 2014
London may introduce a charge on polluting diesel vehicles that enter the centre of the British capital, in a bid to meet EU rules, mayor Boris Johnson says

London may introduce a charge on polluting diesel vehicles that enter the centre of the British capital, in a bid to meet EU rules, mayor Boris Johnson said on Tuesday.

The fee would be on the lines of the "congestion charge" for all vehicles entering central London, which is currently £11.50 a day ($19.50, 14.50 euros), a spokesman said.

The plan is part of a new Brussels-compliant Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) being introduced in London from 2020, which Conservative Johnson announced last year.

"You have to have a charge that makes a difference. We've got to get our air quality better," he told BBC radio, adding that "the price for that is up for consultation".

"We've got a big air quality problem in London, like many other big cities around the world, we've got people dying prematurely, we're in breach of European guidelines."

A spokesman for Johnson told AFP that as part of consultations on air pollution "one option is to bring in a charge for high polluting vehicles on similar level to the congestion charge."

Only diesel vehicles meeting new EU emissions standards will be exempt from the fee, while petrol cars registered before 2006 will also have to pay, officials said.

London's charge was introduced in 2003 by Johnson's predecessor Ken Livingstone in order to ease pressure on the city's roads.

The emission zone is aimed at getting London two-thirds of the way to meeting strict air pollution targets set by Brussels.

Explore further: Climate pledges: Deadline sees slow but promising start

Related Stories

London bids to be world's greenest by 2012: mayor

May 18, 2009

Mayor Boris Johnson outlined plans to make London "the cleanest, greenest city on earth" by the 2012 Olympics and called for commitments from other world cities at a climate change conference.

Recommended for you

Life in the poisonous breath of sleeping volcanos

17 minutes ago

Researchers of the University Jena analyze the microbial community in volcanically active soils. In a mofette close to the Czech river Plesná in north-western Bohemia, the team around Prof. Dr. Kirsten Küsel ...

Eggs and chicken instead of beef reap major climate gains

1 hour ago

Beef on our plates is one of the biggest climate villains, but that does not mean we have to adopt a vegan diet to reach climate goals. Research results from Chalmers University of Technology show that adopting ...

Local action needed to protect nature from global warming

3 hours ago

Stronger local management can increase the resilience of nature to the impacts of climate change, writes an international team of researchers in Science. The authors examined three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: ...

Deforestation is messing with our weather and our food

3 hours ago

Today, the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) at the University of Maryland published new research in Nature Communications providing insight into how large-scale deforestation could ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

shusa2013
not rated yet Jul 30, 2014
The new clean diesel technology has dramatically reduced NOx, PM and sulfur emissions.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe paper entitled "Diesel Engine Exhausts: Myths and Realities" concluded:
". . . we conclude with a high degree of reliability that it is misleading to claim that people's exposure to diesel engines of road motor vehicles is the cause of increased risk of lung cancer" and more than 83% of PM in Europe and 97% in the U.S. are from other sectors.

A 2nd paper supported by agencies including the EU commission concludes: "Cars and trucks, particularly diesel vehicles, are thought to be the main vehicular pollution sources. This needs re-thinking, as we show that elevated particulate matter levels can be a consequence of 'asymmetric pollution' from two-stroke scooters…"

In addition, in its 2014 "State of the Air" report, the American Lung Association cited the new clean diesel fleet as one of the two primary reasons for improved air quality in the U.S.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.