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Pay Extra Money To Drive in Peak Hours What? Yes, London Just Did It

Delhi government had come up with ‘Odd – Even’ formula where cars with the odd and even number can be driven on their allotted day. Though, it was a good initiative but not sufficient and was very controversial.

While Delhi government is still making plans for the better environment, the British government has come up with a new formula to put a check on the rising problem of pollution. ‘Toxin taxes’, as what the British government is calling, are going to be imposed 20 pounds a day on diesel cars which will be implemented in more than 30 cities. It is an attempt by the government to curb the growing pollution in the city caused by the diesel vehicles.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London has said, “The air in London is lethal, and I will not stand by and do nothing. One of the reasons that the air in London is lethal is because of the pollutions coming out of the vehicles,”

“We’ve estimated that more than half of the air pollution is caused by transport. It’s really important to recognise that poor quality air is one of the reasons why there are 9,000 premature deaths in London each year, more than 40,000 premature deaths across the U.K. and children having defective lungs, plus adults suffering poor health.” Sadiq Khan says.

According to one of the newspapers in London, diesel vehicles could actually be banned during the peak hours inside the city in around 9 or 10 worst affected regions. Charges may also be doubled in those regions just to discourage the use of vehicles. Areas believed to be under this scrutiny will be London, Southampton, Birmingham, Nottingham and Derby.

After the implementation of the law, around 10 million vehicles will be affected. London mayor is also expected to introduce a 12.50 pounds’ daily charge from 2019, on the most polluting vehicle in Greater London (which is inside the North Circular and South Circular).  This would be on top of the £10 ‘T-charge’ Congestion Charge premium for pre-2006 diesel and petrol cars that goes live on October 23.

These measures are being taken by the government after it has been taken to the court by a green group Client Earth over its 2015 air quality plan. Time will tell about its success but the steps taken should be appreciated and even India should learn from it.

By – Parul Kulshrestha


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