Sadiq Khan attends a ceremony at Southwark Cathedral in central London. File/AFP
Motorists driving older and dirtier vehicles will be charged an extra £12.50 to enter central London from today as a new ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) came into force.
Petrol cars older than 13 years and diesel vehicles older than four years will be hit by the levy.
Sadiq Khan, the Labour mayor of London, said the charge was being introduced to help prevent thousands of deaths from air pollution, adding that the city’s “toxic air is damaging people’s health”.
For the first two and a half years the ULEZ will cover the same area as London’s existing congestion charge, but in October 2021 will be expanded to the entirety of the inner city, out to the north and south circular roads.
But unlike the congestion charge, which costs drivers £11.50 between 7am and 6pm on weekdays, the ULEZ levy is in force 24 hours a day.
All vehicle types apart from black taxis are liable for the ULEZ charge unless they meet certain emissions standards or exemptions. Non-compliant lorries, buses and coaches face a £100 daily fee.
It is estimated that 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries may be affected every day once the zone is expanded.
The ULEZ was announced by former mayor Boris Johnson, but his successor Khan brought forward the start date and decided to extend it for 2021.
There has been concern that poorer motorists, small businesses and charities will be unfairly stung by the charge as they are less able to afford to upgrade their vehicles.
Eddie Curzon, the London director of business organisation the CBI, described the ULEZ as a “really positive step” but warned that “smaller firms can struggle to afford the switch to low-emission vehicles”.
City Hall said Transport for London is running a scrappage scheme to help the smallest businesses and charities switch to cleaner vehicles.
It also noted that people in London’s most deprived areas are more likely to suffer from poor air quality and are least likely to own a car.
The charge’s debut comes after two-thirds of teachers said they would support a ban on cars near school gates.
Their stance followed a Unicef report which claimed that some 4.5 million children – or one in three – were growing up in towns and cities in the UK with unsafe levels of particulate pollution.
The 37-year-old Swiss can clinch a record-extending 21st major if he manages to break free of the world number one's stranglehold.
Two men have been arrested in Northern Ireland over the killing of a journalist during a riot, police said, with politicians calling for calm after the shooting added to concerns about the stability of the region’s 21-year-old peace deal.
Police were called to an address in south London at 3:30am, where they found a wounded 26-year-old pregnant woman. Her baby was delivered, taken to hospital and was in a critical condition.
European stocks fell on Monday following a week of strong gains, with losses in technology stocks and European suppliers of US planemaker Boeing, weighing the most. The pan-region STOXX 600 index was down 0.2 per cent at 0940 GMT, having touched eight-month highs last week. Stocks in Spain fell the most, down 0.73 per cent, while Germany’s trade sensitive DAX index fell 0.5 per cent,
"I would like to say sorry because today is your birthday and your great life partner is with me."
"During our treks we usually take trash bags on our treks but accidentally forgot them, next time will do more. Our citizens need to be educated to enjoy this beautiful county but be responsible tourists," he said.
Both Arab defendants – a motorist, 36, and his colleague, 37— kidnapped the Indian employee, 33, from a building housing his boss’ company in Baniyas area at around 9:30pm on May 26, the Criminal Court heard.
The parents of the twins Waseem and Nazma have been arrested for the killing that took place on Sunday. Waseem, who works as daily wager and already has a seven-year-old son, told the police that his financial condition was poor and he could not afford two daughters.