£10 Toxic Air Charge starts today, and it might save your life

Great news for the lungs of Londoners as the government tripple charges for ‘toxic’ engines driving through London.
But, bad news for drivers of older cars who, from today, have to face a £15.00 penalty if they’re travelling through central London.
A £10.00 T-charge will apply to vehicles that do not meet low emissions targets set by the mayor of London’s office.

London black cabs at a taxi rank at Covent Garden.

The charge applies between 7am and 6pm from Monday to Friday when driving through selected central London areas, in addition to the £5.00 congestion charge which applies to all of us without a zero emissions car.

There are now more deaths from air pollution than HIV

Diesel Vehicles, where Nitrous Oxide production overtakes Carbon Dioxide as the bigger health concern, are the main target of the scheme.

But with 99% of black cabs and buses being at least partially diesel reliant, others are asking whether the charge will have much impact on our air quality.

Famously, in the first week of 2017, Brixton high street exceeded its annual EU quota of ‘toxic fume’ production allowance.

On most London high streets, main roads and side streets, in zone one and beyond, buses and black cabs are still plague our air.

More effort is being made to move away from diesel and fossil fuels all together.

Diesel was once the wonder fuel

Diesel was once peddled by governments and the EU as a ‘wonder fuel’ which would help save the planet at a cheaper price for the consumer. Take a look at this seriously hard to believe Superbowl advert from Audi to see how our attitudes have changed.

Londoners love the ‘New Bus for London’ which brought more comfort and sustainable energy to our bus routes, and the same is soon to be done for black cabs.

TFL’s all electric cabs are set to hit the streets in 2018 – but at a cost of £50,000 progress might be slow.

With air pollution killing more people each year than HIV, there is still a long way to go.

Words: Michael Ward | Subbing: Charlotte Racher

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