The city of London is making it more expensive for drivers of older vehicles. The city has implemented a new levy that nearly doubles the amount drivers have to pay to enter the city center, offering up another death blow to diesel engines.
London motorists are already charged 11.50 pounds ($15) to enter sections of the city as part of congestion charge. The new levy will effectively double that amount for drivers of vehicles registered prior to 2006 by adding an additional 10 pounds to the fee.
Officials hope the new levy will further encourage consumers to switch to new, greener vehicles. Mayor Sadiq Khan also hopes the new levy reduces air pollution in the capital.
“The air is bad, but it’s also a killer,” he told Reuters. “There are children in London whose lungs are underdeveloped. There are adults who suffer a whole host of conditions caused by the poor quality air from asthma to dementia to suffering strokes.”
Khan wants the UK government to devise a diesel scrappage scheme to assist owners of older diesel vehicles in trading in for a new vehicle. Of course, such a program would have to come from the UK government, above the city’s jurisdiction.
The UK government has already announced plans to ban gas and diesel powered vehicles by 2040. So far the government has not offered any incentives to assist residents and businesses with the transition away from combustion engines.
With this new levy, London is joining several other European cities making it more expensive to own older, higher-pollution vehicles. Madrid, Paris and Athens have all already announced new restrictions, fines or bans regarding diesel vehicles.