File photo taken in December 2016 shows a British Union flag flying near the Elizabeth Tower, otherwise known as Big Ben, opposite the Houses of Parliament in central London. (Photo: AFP)
London: Older, more polluting vehicles will have to pay an additional 10-pound Toxic Charge when entering central London's congestion charging zone from later this year.
City Hall, the British capital's governing authority, estimates that up to 10,000 vehicles every weekday will be liable for the new emissions levy.
"It's staggering that we live in a city where the air is so toxic that many of our children are growing up with lung problems. If we don't make drastic changes now we won't be protecting the health of our families in the future. The T-Charge (Toxic Charge) is a vital step in tackling the dirtiest diesels," London mayor Sadiq Khan said today.
He confirmed that he plans to press ahead with the so-called T-Charge, "the toughest emission standard of any major city", from October 23.
It will operate on top of, and during the same times, as the city's congestion charge, meaning it will cost 21.50 pounds a day to drive a pre-Euro 4 emissions standard vehicle in the heart of London between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday.
Khan had launched a consultation on the T-charge proposals in July last year as part of efforts to combat rising pollution levels.
The mayor has also called on the UK government to put in place a national diesel scrappage scheme to help people replace vehicles affected by his plans.
City Hall said its research showed people living in London's most deprived communities, often by busy roads, are on average exposed to 25 per cent higher levels of harmful NO2 pollution.
The latest announcement comes after fresh warnings earlier this week about the poor quality of London's air.