Sadiq Khan has declared war on London drivers by expanding a low emission zone across the capital.
Hundreds of thousands of motorists will be charged £12.50 a day for driving in London in a ‘hammer blow for desperate drivers’.
The mayor’s ultra-low emission zone (Ulez) is already in force on the north and south ring roads. This followed Mr Khan’s expansion of the scheme last fall.Read:England player turned drug boss lived high life with dealer ‘Led Zeppelin’
Ulez will be expanding across Greater London from 29 August. Mr Khan said it was “one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made”.
Whether or not a car is responsible for charging depends on the amount of nitrogen dioxide it emits.
For diesel cars and trucks to avoid the fee, they generally must be registered as of 2016, while most gasoline models registered since 2006 are exempt.
Addressing pollution in the capital became the main policy under Khan. His book, Breathe: Addressing the Climate Emergency, is due to be published in May.
He said air pollution was making Londoners “cradle-to-grave patients” with diseases such as cancer, lung disease, dementia and asthma.
But his plans failed to resonate with Londoners with widespread opposition against Owleys expansion recorded during a public consultation on Khan’s plans.Read:British botanists murdered and thrown to crocodiles in South Africa, court hears
And The Telegraph revealed earlier this year that two-thirds of respondents opposed O’Lease’s expansion.
Mr Khan had promised to abandon his plans if there was “overwhelming opposition” when launching the consultations. He later accused the car groups of skewing the results of the advisory – although opponents have highlighted that climate change activists have similarly amplified support for Olease’s expansion.
Nicholas Lays, RAC’s head of road policy, said the announcement would be “a huge blow to desperate drivers and businesses already struggling with crippling fuel costs.”Read:UK mortgages: ‘next 10 days crucial’ in how much rates rise | Mortgage rates
But Mr Khan insisted that “another five million people will be able to breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives”.
He added that the rising cost of living was “a major consideration” in his decision to implement the proposal and promised extra bus services for people outside London.
Khan added: “Extending Ulez across London was not an easy decision.
“The easy thing for me was just kicking the can down the road.
“But in the end, public health comes before political expediency.”
Billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, has claimed that Khan’s leadership is “helping clean up London’s air and setting an example for cities around the world”.