Thou­sands of post-’76 cars to be hit by Mayor’s pol­lu­tion con­trols – but it’s a vic­tory for own­ers of tax-ex­empt ve­hi­cles

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page -

Thou­sands of clas­sic car own­ers will have to pay an ex­tra £10 a day if they want to take their cars into the cap­i­tal. Lon­don mayor Sadiq Khan will bring in the emis­sions charge on 23 Oc­to­ber. While his of­fice has con­firmed that ‘His­toric’ ve­hi­cles will be ex­empted, own­ers of later clas­sics will have to pay the charge, aimed pri­mar­ily at diesel cars. But Sir Greg Knight MP, chair­man of the All Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cle Group, says he wel­comes the ex­emp­tion for ear­lier clas­sics. He says: ‘I am very pleased that his­toric ve­hi­cles will be ex­empt from the forth­com­ing low emis­sion zone in view of the fact that their con­tri­bu­tion to to­tal emis­sions is vir­tu­ally neg­li­gi­ble.’

he Lon­don Mayor’s of­fice has put an end to un­cer­tainty for clas­sic car own­ers and con­firmed ve­hi­cles with a ‘His­toric’ tax class will be ex­empt from the new £10 emis­sions T-Charge.

The cen­tral Lon­don T-charge (also known as the Emis­sions Sur­charge) will be in­tro­duced on 23 Oc­to­ber this year, the 14th an­niver­sary of the launch of the con­ges­tion charge.

How­ever, it will still mean clas­sics from 1976 and be­yond will have to pay the T-Charge on top of the con­ges­tion charge.

The Mayor of Lon­don, Sadiq Khan, had pre­vi­ously re­fused to rule out whether clas­sics would be ex­empt un­til com­ple­tion of two rounds of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion be­tween sum­mer last year and Fe­bru­ary 2017. It has now been con­firmed that ve­hi­cles with a his­toric tax class (40 years and older) and/or com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles man­u­fac­tured be­fore 1973 will be ex­empt.

Sir Greg Knight, chair­man of the All-Party Par­lia­men­tary His­toric Ve­hi­cle Group says: ‘I am very pleased that the Mayor of Lon­don has con­firmed that his­toric ve­hi­cles will be ex­empt from the forth­com­ing low emis­sion zone in view of the fact that their con­tri­bu­tion to to­tal emis­sions is vir­tu­ally neg­li­gi­ble.’

The new T-Charge will ap­ply to all ve­hi­cles with pre-Euro 4 emis­sion stan­dards and will cost an ex­tra £10 per day on top of the ex­ist­ing con­ges­tion charge, tak­ing the daily to­tal to £21.50. The T-charge zone will op­er­ate in the same area as the con­ges­tion charge zone be­tween 7am and 6pm Mon­day to Fri­day.

There is a ve­hi­cle com­pli­ance checker on the Trans­port for Lon­don (TfL) web­site for any car own­ers who are un­sure if their car will have to pay the T-Charge or not (www. tfl.gov.uk/emis­sion­ssur­charge). How­ever, at the time of go­ing to press, it still sug­gests that any ve­hi­cle reg­is­tered be­fore Jan­uary 2001 has to pay, and it is only in the small print later that the his­toric ve­hi­cle ex­emp­tion is men­tioned.

Up to 10,000 ve­hi­cles are ex­pected every week­day to be po­ten­tially li­able for the new emis­sions levy. If those ve­hi­cles paid £10 a day, five days a week for the year, the T-Charge would bring in £26 mil­lion an­nu­ally for TfL.

Like the con­ges­tion charge, the T-Charge will use cam­eras to en­force the new emis­sions tax.

His­toric ve­hi­cles are al­ready ex­empt from a sep­a­rate emis­sions area, the Ul­tra Low Emis­sions Zone (ULEZ), due to be ex­tended from cen­tral Lon­don to an area cov­er­ing the North and South Cir­cu­lar. Khan is cur­rently look­ing to pull for­ward the ULEZ scheme’s in­tro­duc­tion from 2020 to 2019. The T-Charge and ULEZ ex­ten­sion are part of the Mayor’s plans to ‘ bat­tle Lon­don’s toxic air’ in ad­di­tion to plans for a diesel scrap­page scheme. Leon Daniels, TfL’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of sur­face trans­port, says: ‘Lon­don’s air qual­ity cri­sis is one of the big­gest chal­lenges we face and we are work­ing along­side the Mayor to ad­dress it.

‘The T-Charge is a cru­cial part of this work and will dis­cour­age driv­ers of the old­est, most pol­lut­ing ve­hi­cles from driv­ing in cen­tral Lon­don.’

This news comes just days af­ter the EU com­mis­sion sent a fi­nal warn­ing to the UK over breaches of air pol­lu­tion lim­its. It says 16 ar­eas, in­clud­ing Lon­don and Birm­ing­ham, reg­u­larly ex­ceed air pol­lu­tion lim­its.

De­spite this, Coun­cil­lor Lisa Trick­ett, Birm­ing­ham’s cabi­net mem­ber for sus­tain­abil­ity says: ‘There is no con­ges­tion charge com­ing for Birm­ing­ham. A con­ges­tion charge is to do with num­bers and not the type of pol­lu­tion.’ Tom Sey­mour and Mur­ray Scul­lion www.tfl.gov.uk

‘Their con­tri­bu­tion to to­tal emis­sions is vir­tu­ally neg­li­gi­ble’ SIR GREG KNIGHT ON HIS­TORICS

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