The most polluting vehicles that circulate in the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) of the center of London they will have to pay 12.5 pounds, about 14.5 euros. The toll, which has begun to be applied since this past dawn in the British capital, aims to tackle pollution, which is attributed thousands of premature deaths.
The municipal authorities expect the initiative to reduce emissions from road traffic by 45%, since this rate is added to the Congestion Rate that polluters already have to pay for entering Central London between 7:00 and 6:00 p.m. . In total at that time a vehicle pays 24 pounds.
The measure applies to diesel vehicles that do not meet the Euro6 standard, mandatory since 2015. In the case of buses and trucks that do not meet these criteria, they will have to pay 100 pounds. The fees are paid through a license plate recognition system connected to the database of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, which includes the type of emissions of each vehicle.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has argued with a study that almost 1,000 people are hospitalized every year in the city for asthma caused by pollution. In fact, the mayor's intention is to extend the ULEZ in October 2021 to all the remaining areas within the north and south bypass roads.
The Deputy Mayor for the Environment, Shirley Rodrigues, has defended the initiative as a measure of social justice. "The poor are less likely to have a car and are more likely to live in a highly polluted area," he said.
More than two million people – including 400,000 children – live in areas of London where air quality does not comply with regulations on nitrogen dioxide limits. These minimums are not met in measurements of up to 451 schools in the city.