Boris Johnson has confirmed that a charging scheme to discourage owners of the most polluting vehicles from driving in the capital will come into effect as of September 2020.
The announcement follows a consultation held by Transport for London in which 79% of respondents said it was important to tackle air quality.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scheme will require vehicles entering central London to comply with new emission standards for nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM10) or pay a daily fine.
Transport for London predicts the zone will halve PM10 and NOx emissions and drastically improve the quality of London’s air.
It has previously denied claims by some critics that the zone will displace polluting vehicles from central London to other parts of the city, insisting that most traffic in the zone area enters from other parts of London which will therefore benefit from a greater uptake of cleaner vehicles.
Confirming the start date of September 7th 2020, Mayor Boris Johnson said: “The world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone is an essential measure to help improve air quality in our city, protect the health of Londoners, and lengthen our lead as the greatest city on earth.”
Mr Johnson has also announced that the Government has pledged a further £25m in addition to a previously announced £40m fund to help taxi drivers cover the cost of upgrading to a greener vehicle.
The Mayor’s announcement was welcomed by Stephen Knight, Chair of the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, who said: “To finally agree to developing an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London is certainly a step in the right direction.
“We also welcome that the Mayor has found the extra support that we recommended for zero emission capable taxis.”
However Mr Knight added that the Mayor and his successor needed “to ensure that London achieves compliance with legal pollution limits, which currently we are in serious breach of.”