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Classics face £10 charge to enter London

Published 12 July 2016

Classic cars could be forced to pay a tax to enter central London next year in a bid to improve the capital’s air quality. Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn wants to discourage polluting older vehicles from the city by forcing drivers to pay an additional £10 charge.

The so-called ‘T-charge’ would apply to the most polluting vehicles entering central London from 2017. The charge would cover all vehicles with pre-Euro 4 emission standards - mainly cars registered before 2005. It means drivers of classic cars will have to pay an extra £10 per day on top of the existing Congestion Charge.

Khan said, ‘With nearly 10,000 people dying early every year in London due to exposure to air pollution, cleaning up London’s toxic air is now an issue of life and death.’

Previously, vintage and veteran vehicles had been exempt from paying the congestion charge in London's Ultra Low Emission Zone - but questions have been raised about whether such an exemption could continue.

Kahn has also renewed calls on the Government to launch a scrappage scheme to rid older polluting diesel cars from the city’s roads.

The scrappage scheme Is an idea that Kahn’s predecessor, Boris Johnson, also backed – and a move that could put ‘youngtimers’ such as the Mercedes-Benz 300D (W124) at risk.

The idea was a platform of Kahn’s manifesto for the mayoral elections., Kahn said he would, ‘Call upon the Government to introduce a diesel vehicle scrappage scheme to support those who wish to change to a greener car.’

It’s propsal that is backed by the Environmental Audit Committee, which recommended a diesel scrappage scheme to help tackle a ‘public health crisis’ in air pollution. If the scheme goes ahead, hundreds of potential future classics could be destroyed.

As well as oil-burning W124s and 190s, that critical list includes diesel variants of the Audi 100 (one of the first turbo-charged diesels).

Also in danger are Montegos, MkI and MkII Golfs, plenty of Peugeots (205, 309) and Citroens (CX, BX, XM, AX) and Volvo’s 700/900 series, plus the 850. The Vauxhall Cavalier MkII and Ford Sierra will also be targets for ‘cube and collect’. Diesel versions of the Ford Fiesta MkII and Escort MkIII were also available.


vmturbo    on 12 July 2016

IMHO this is pure idiocy. Have they not yet noticed that London has several airports that fly aircraft that burn a great many TONS of fuel? So much aviation fuel is used that major airports all have pipelines to the oil refineries as bringing the fuel by lorry would be impractical. In addition it has long been said that if one lives on a take-off flight path forget hanging washing on a clothes line. Instead one must buy a tumble-drier. Aviation noise and pollution somehow seems to be exempt so the politicians resort to the old trick of attacking the motorist instead.

There are also diesel locomotives that run on "red" (not the low odour city diesel) and as far as I know the locomotives don't use Adblue as they would need rather a lot! Having just said that, most locomotives are now so well maintained that they are smokeless! It is most impressive to see diesel trains that just make a heat-plume as they accelerate and well maintained cars should be the same.

Incidentally petrol cars can at times be a bit naughty. All it needs is a little bit of dust or pollen to burn-on to the hot-wire in the Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF) With the hot-wire slightly insulated, more air is needed to get the wire to the temperature that the Engine Control Unit wants. The engine runs lean which causes a higher burn temperature hence increased Oxides of Nitrogen. This can actually be an MOT fail caused by micrograms of dirt! If one has a steady hand, oven cleaner can be painted on the sensing wire.

Ships running on bunker-oil which is virtually crude-oil that has been sieved, often emit yellow smog. Is anything being done about this? Of course not as attacking the owners of 100,000 horsepower engines might not be a good idea.

CanAmSteve    on 18 July 2016

Is this to enter the LEZ or the Congestion Zone? BIG difference. Simple enough (and not really a bad idea) to avoid the Congestion Zone area, but the LEZ is much larger.

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