London's new T-Charge comes into force today


File photo dated 02/02/07 of a car exhaust. A tougher emissions-testing regime for newly launched cars has come into force.

From today, motorists driving into the very centre of London may have a new fee to contend with. That's because, in addition to the well-established London Congestion Charge, a new payment requirement has become necessary for drivers of older, more polluting vehicles.

The new T-Charge, or Toxicity Charge, applies to all vehicles built before Euro 4 emissions standards came into force. The fee payable is £10 – which on top of the congestion charge means a maximum £21.50 per day for drivers in the capital.

The charge has been created in a bid to reduce air pollution by keeping the country's older and more polluting vehicles out of London's city centre. Euro 4 emissions came into force in 2005, meaning the majority of vehicles built before this time will qualify for the charge.

The T-Charge zone mirrors the Congestion Charge exactly, which means it's likely to affect up to 6,500 motorists every day. It also operates in the same 7am-6pm time frame.

However, it's not just cars and vans that London is targeting. The T-Charge will apply to coaches, buses and HGVs with a £100 per day fee. Authorities estimate this will cut the capital's nitrogen oxide levels by 50 per cent by 2020.

When plans for the T-Charge were confirmed earlier this year, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "The air in London is lethal and I will not stand by and do nothing. Today I'm announcing bold proposals which are critically needed to safeguard Londoners from our air quality health crisis."