Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced plans for a new scrappage scheme to help micro-businesses swap their polluting vans for new electric models.
The £23 million scheme is expected to launch ahead of next April’s introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone – which will see drivers of vehicles which don’t meet strict emission standards pay £12.50 per day to drive in central London – and will initially be targeted at firms with fewer than 10 employees.
Mr Khan has asked Transport for London “to work out how the money could be spent most effectively,” and City Hall says further details of the scheme will be available next year.
Mayor Khan said: “Air pollution is a national health crisis that is stunting the lung development of our children and leading to thousands of premature deaths. To truly get a grip on our lethal air we need to take bold action to rid our city of the most polluting vehicles.
“It’s not good enough to do nothing, and I’m determined to take real action which is why I’ve already delivered the Toxicity Charge in central London for the oldest polluting vehicles, cleaned up our bus fleet, and brought forward the Ultra Low Emission Zone.
“My scrappage scheme is my next step in tackling pollution.”
News of the new scheme comes more than a year after the Federation of Small Businesses called on the Mayor “to put in place supportive measures including a small business diesel vehicle scrappage scheme” that would allow businesses to cope with the financial burden of the ULEZ and the £10 per day Toxicity Charge.
Today the organisation’s London Policy Chair, Sue Terpilowski OBE, said it was “delighted that the Mayor is announcing a fund to support micro businesses looking to scrap their older diesel vehicles.”
She added: “FSB has long argued that tackling air quality is a critical issue for London and we have been vocal with the Mayor to approach this brave new Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) world with ‘carrot-based incentives’ to aid struggling small firms who are faced with changing an expensive vehicle stock – many of whom are facing damagingly high costs of doing business in the capital.”
“We are also calling for a light-touch introduction of the ULEZ scheme to ensure that this policy meets the ambitions of reducing harmful emissions whilst still recognising the impacts on micro and small businesses.”