Motorists driving in and around England’s capital will be charged an extra £10 from today if their vehicles don’t conform to minimum environmental standards.
Here’s what you need to know about this so-called ‘T-Charge’ (Toxicity Charge):
Where does the fee apply?
The charge is applicable in the current congestion charge zone in central London, and is in effect every weekday between 7am and 6pm. Here’s a map of the congestion charge zone:
Source: TFL, October 2017.
How much is the new fee?
The fee is £10 per day on top of the current congestion charge levy of £11.50 per day.
Is my vehicle affected?
As a rule of thumb, vehicles registered before 2006 will be liable for the new charge. However, Transport for London (TfL) has urged any motorist with a car registered before 2008 to check if they are affected.
You can do this by checking the TfL website. You can also make payments on the TfL website if you plan on making a journey into the congestion zone.
TfL estimates that up to 34,000 vehicles a month could be in line to pay the new levy.
How does TfL know I’ve driven in the congestion zone?
TfL uses a sophisticated system of cameras to check the licence plates of vehicles entering the congestion zone. If you enter the zone without having paid, you have until midnight on the same day to pay the charge.
Failure to pay the new charge could result in a fine of £130. You will have 28 days to pay, however, if you pay the fine within 14 days of receipt, it is reduced by 50% to £65. Failure to pay within 28 days increases the fine by 50% to £195.
Why has the fee been introduced?
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says: “Today marks a major milestone in this journey with the introduction of the T-Charge to encourage motorists to ditch polluting, harmful vehicles.
“London now has the world’s toughest emission standard with older more polluting vehicles paying up to £21.50 a day to drive in the centre of the city. The T-charge is a stepping stone to the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which could be introduced as early as 2019.”
TfL adds that since the T-charge was initially announced in February this year, there has been a 15% reduction in vehicles that would be liable to pay the extra fee entering the zone.