As Lloyd reported earlier this year, London's new mayor, Sadiq Kahn, is not a fan of urban air pollution. He already announced a doubling of the city's Ultra Low Emissions Zone, he's just announced that he's also rolling out a £10 Emissions Surcharge on the most polluting vehicles entering central London from 2017, which is applied on top of the existing Congestion Charge. The surcharge will be applied to all vehicles with pre-Euro4 emissions standards (those registered before 2005).
This move comes as part of a broader effort which includes:
- Introducing the central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone one year earlier than planned in 2019
- Extending the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (‘ULEZ’) beyond central London from 2020: for motorcycles, cars and vans, to the North and South Circular; and for lorries, buses and coaches London-wide
- Developing a detailed proposal for a national diesel scrappage scheme for Government to implement
- Bringing forward the requirement for all double–deck buses to be ULEZ-compliant in central London from 2020 to 2019
- Implementing clean bus corridors – tackling the worst pollution hotspots by delivering cleaner buses on the dirtiest routes
Given evidence that London's air pollution plummets when buses aren't running, it's good to see Kahn putting much of his focus into improving the capital's huge bus fleet. Such efforts should also spur innovation and investment in clean bus technologies which will consequently get adopted in other cities and towns too.