How will the so-called toxin tax affect you?
There has been a lot of media speculation about a so-called toxin tax on diesel cars and earlier this month the government published more details on how it intends to curb emissions.
Focus on cities
The focus of its plans, revealed in a consultation document called Clean Air Zone Framework, are the UK’s major cities where pollution from car fumes is at its highest, so we are unlikely to see any direct impact from the proposals in the rural parts of East Anglia any time soon.
The government says it wants local authorities to take responsibility for improving air quality, and when it comes to transport the onus of the strategy is on encouraging the use of ULEVs (ultra low emission vehicles) rather than charging drivers of the worse polluting cars.
Encouraging the take up of electric and hybrid cars
In fact, the government has stated that charging zones are not a requirement and should only be used when a local authority fails to identify effective alternatives.
Suggestions to encourage the use of ULEVs include:
- providing preferential parking bays or access for ULEVs
- lower parking fees for ULEVs
- preferential delivery bays or access for ULEVs
In short, it’s giving people who live in and around urban areas more reasons to buy electric or hybrid cars.
Consultation on the proposals are due to end next month while a more detailed strategy is expected to be published later in the summer.
T-charge in London
Those who sometimes drive into London, however, will be interested to know that people with the most polluting diesel cars, that is pre-Euro4 engines, will face a new £10 toxicity charge, known as the T-charge due to come in in October.
It was announced by London mayor Sadiq Khan after London saw record air pollution levels in January and the city was put on very high pollution alert for the first time ever.
The T-charge is to be levied to drive within Central London on top of the £11.50 Congestion charge, so drivers with old polluting diesels will have to pay £21.50 to drive through the capital from this autumn.
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