From the 23rd October 2017, the all-new London ‘T-Charge’ will come into effect. Paid on top of the existing £11.50 congestion charge, owners of the most polluting cars could face a charge of £21.50 to drive at peak times.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Toxicity Charge’, this new charge runs alongside the current congestion charge in Central London and has been put in place as part of efforts to help create cleaner air in London. Targeting cars that don’t meet the minimum Euro emission standards (generally this means vehicles registered before January 2005) it effects everything from personal cars to private ambulances, coaches and recovery vehicles. If you would like to check whether you will be affected by this charge, you can visit the T-Charge checker here.
Once the new charge is in place on 23rd October 2017, Transport for London (TfL) will identify which vehicles in the relevant zones are impacted and will then require the driver to pay in the same way that they do their congestion charge. TfL have noted that drivers who use Congestion Charge Autopay will have their T-Charge costs automatically added.
Should you spend some time in the T-Charge zone but fail to pay the relevant fees, you can expect a Penalty Charge Notice that’ll cost £130 (£65 if paid within 14 days).
Whilst the T-Charge is yet to even start, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has already announced that he wishes to replace it in 2019:
“I am introducing a new T-Charge this October and subject to consultation, I want to introduce the Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London in April 2019. This alone will mean the capital has the toughest emission standard of any world city.”
The Ultra Low Emission Zone would be located in the same places as the congestion and T-charge zone but would see everyone in a pre-Euro 4 petrol and pre-Euro 6 diesel charged a fee to drive in the zone regardless of time of day. Coaches, buses and HGVs would also be affected by the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and could see a £100 per day fee. It has been estimated that the plan would cut London’s nitrogen oxide levels by 50 per cent by 2020.