The t-charge is urgently needed to protect Londoners' health
From today, the most polluting vehicles that drive into central London will have to pay a £10 toxicity charge (t-charge).
The charge is the first step in the mayor’s plans to clean up London’s air. London has some of the highest and most harmful levels of air pollution in the UK, many roads reach levels as high as cities like Shanghai and Beijing.
Millions of people are breathing in these toxic levels of pollution that could be having a deadly and devastating impact on their health. It can increase all our chances of getting lung cancer and it can stunt the growth of children’s lungs.
For people who already have COPD and asthma, it can worsen their symptoms and force them into hospital. It is estimated in London alone that air pollution can be linked to 9,000 people dying early each year. It really is an invisible killer.
That’s why we're supporting the new t-charge (PDF, 280KB). The majority of harmful pollution in London comes from vehicles, so we have to put policies in place that are going to reduce the number of polluting vehicles on our roads.
This charge will not be enough by itself – London’s pollution problem spans across the whole city, not just the centre. It has to be a stepping stone to a more ambitious ultra-low emission zone across the whole of London.
Air pollution is not just a London problem. Many places across the UK have unsafe pollution levels. We want the government to use the budget next month to increase taxation on new diesel vehicles. Can you take a minute today and tell the chancellor to stop incentivising diesel?
We’ve also written some FAQs to answer any questions you might have.
Across the UK, millions of us are breathing in toxic levels of pollution. That needs to change.