LONDON’S £10 A DAY STING FOR CLASSICS
Thousands of post-’76 cars to be hit by Mayor’s pollution controls – but it’s a victory for owners of tax-exempt vehicles
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