Khan announces far-reaching plans to tackle air pollution

19 May 2016, Blog

On Friday (13 May), Sadiq Khan announced several policies he is pursuing to tackle air pollution in the capital, including a significant extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and the introduction of a ‘T-Charge’ for vehicles emitting the most toxic fumes.

These proposals represent the first major policy announcement of the new mayor, who believes he has “been elected with a clear mandate to clean up London’s air.” Having recently been diagnosed with asthma, Khan criticised his predecessor, Boris Johnson, for leaving the city a “laughing stock” internationally, and said the government has been “hopelessly inactive” on the issue of air pollution.

The current plans for the ULEZ cover the existing congestion zone in central London, however Khan announced that he wants the area to stretch from the south to north circular roads, which would nearly double its initial size.

The ULEZ , which is under a consultation that is set to be published within the next few weeks, may also be moved forward from 2020 to as soon as 2019 according to officials.

Khan also seeks to incentivise the use of cleaner vehicles and public transport by introducing a £12.50 T-Charge for drivers of the 2.5 million cars that fail to meet its standards travelling within the congestion zone. This will be separate to the congestion charge and is planned to be introduced next year.

Khan will launch a formal policy consultation on his proposals within the next few weeks as he seeks to “kick-start the process” of alleviating air pollution in London.

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