London’s £10 daily “T-charge” for most polluting vehicles now in effect; partnership with Turing Institute
London’s £10 daily “T-Charge” (toxicity), aimed at the oldest, most polluting vehicles on London roads, is now in effect. The T Charge applies mainly to diesel and gasoline vehicles registered before 2006. The T-Charge (officially known as the Emissions Surcharge) operates on top of (and during the same operating times as) the Congestion Charge (Monday to Friday 7am-6pm), so it will cost £21.50 to drive in the zone if a vehicle is affected. Drivers can check the status of their vehicles online.
The minimum emissions standards for avoiding the T-Charge are Euro 4/IV for both gasoline and diesel vehicles and Euro 3 for motorized tricycles and quadricycles. A small number of vehicles manufactured before the Euro 4/Euro IV standard became mandatory will have NOx and PM emissions that meet Euro 4/Euro IV or better. These are designated as early adopters and are not subject to the T-Charge.
The following vehicles are subject to the T-Charge, if they don’t meet the emissions standards: Cars; Vans; Minibuses; Buses; Coaches and HGVs; Motorized caravans and horseboxes; Breakdown and recovery vehicles; Private ambulances Motor hearses; Dual purpose vehicles; Other specialist vehicle types; Motorized tricycles and quadricycles that are subject to the Congestion Charge; 9+ seater vehicles; and Taxis and private hire vehicles that are not actively licensed with TfL. Motorcycles are not subject to the T-Charge.
In the run-up to the launch of the T-Charge, The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
It’s staggering that we live in a city where the air is so toxic that many of our children are growing up with lung problems... Londoners overwhelmingly supported my plans to introduce this £10 charge…I will continue to do everything in my power to help protect the health of Londoners and clean our filthy air.
Recent research has revealed 7.9 million Londoners live in areas exceeding World Health Organization air quality guidelines. The Mayor has doubled funding spent on tackling air quality to £875 million (US$1.2 billion) over the next five years). He’s also consulting on bringing forward the start date of the central Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) from 2020 to 2019 and expanding the ULEZ up to the North/South Circular roads.
The city launched a new ad campaign last week in support of the T-Charge. The advertisements feature images of everyday objects, including a coffee cup and a baby’s bottle that appear to be covered in pollution next to a headline saying: “If you could see London’s air, you’d want to clean it too”.
New partnership with Turing Institute. Khanalso announced a two-year collaboration with the Alan Turing Institute to explore ways to improve how air quality is modeled in London by collating existing and new data sources and enhancing the way it is analyzed.
The work with the Alan Turing Institute will complement the Mayor’s existing work with other major London institutions, such as King’s College London, who work with boroughs and City Hall to undertake local air quality monitoring and to develop the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory. It is taking place as part of the Turing-Lloyd’s Register Foundation programme in data-centric engineering, which aims to use data science to transform the safety and efficiency of complex infrastructure systems.
Currently, there are approximately 100 large air quality monitoring stations in London active at any time. However, the numbers and types of monitors and sensors are likely to increase significantly in the coming years, so it is increasingly important to set standards and develop flexible ways to incorporate these new sources of data collection in City Hall’s air quality modelling and analysis work.
Researchers will work with City Hall to develop advanced machine learning models that will enable better air quality forecasting and modelling. These could then further inform policy to make targeted interventions that reduce the levels of pollution in key areas and at key times.