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Diesel Drivers To Pay £20 To Drive In London

Tuesday 29th July 2014

London Mayor Boris Johnson told LBC that anyone who bought a diesel car before this year will be hit by increased charges to drive into central London by 2020.

petrol diesel

Owners of diesel cars will be hit by the 10 charge to drive into the capital's 'ultra low emission zone' - on top of the existing congestion charge.

Only diesel vehicles meeting the Euro 6 emissions standard will be exempt - which includes cars bought this year - while petrol cars registered before 2006 would also be made to pay.

Mr Johnson told LBC: "As everyone knows, there is an issue with air quality in London. It's something that millions of people in this city care about a great deal. Anybody who has children with asthma, anybody with breathing difficulties will know the importance of air quality.

"The thing that went wrong in the last 10 years was the big move to diesel, which was encouraged by governments around Europe - everyone thought diesel was the answer.

"The numbers of people who will be affected is not that big. We're only talking about people who drive regualrly into the congestion zone and have a diesel car that by 2020 is more than six years old.

"Diesel cars are pumping far too much of this crud into the air and we can beat it."

The initiative is being considered to help meet European regulations on clean air and avoid the threat of heavy fines for breaching them.

London, Birmingham and Leeds would face dangerous levels of pollution from vehicle exhausts in the next 15 years, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "This isn't quite a mis-selling scandal, but for years ministers took their eye off the ball and encouraged drivers to buy diesels to help fight climate change. That has come at a cost: local air pollution. Today 10 million cars in Britain are powered by diesel engines - a third of the total.

"Part of the problem is regulation. In laboratory conditions diesel cars have met strict test criteria. Unfortunately that performance hasn't been matched on the road and now we have a significant health issue because of the dash for diesel."