At present, London is in breach of legal limits for a pollutant called Nitrogen Dioxide (NOx) which contributes to poor health, particularly respiratory problems such as wheezing, coughing, colds, flu and bronchitis. The Mayor has proposed the introduction of an Emissions Surcharge, to be introduced from 2017. The charge aims to reduce the number of most polluting vehicles from driving within the Congestion Charging Zone.
It is suggested that it would operate in the same zone and at the same times as the Congestion Charge (7am – 6pm, Monday to Friday). The charge would affect only the oldest vehicles that travel into the zone which are pre-Euro 4 standard. Broadly speaking, this means that only vehicles first registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) before January 2005 will be affected and will be required to pay the daily charge. Even if the UK leaves the EU, the emissions limits defined by the Euro 4 standards would still apply. These vehicles would be required to pay a daily charge which could be set at around £10 in addition to the Congestion Charge which is currently £11.50 (and any Low Emission Zone charges if applicable). The ES Charge is a short term measure, designed to take action ahead of the implementation of ULEZ in 2020. When the Ultra Low Emission Zone starts operation (currently planned for September 2020), the Emissions Surcharge could be discontinued, but this is subject to specific consultation in Autumn 2016. It is proposed that majority of exemptions and discounts that apply to the Congestion Charge would also apply to the Emissions Surcharge. This would mean that residents would only pay 10% of the daily charge, other discounts/exemptions for Blue Badge Holders, taxis and private hire vehicles. This would mean that residents would only pay 10% of the daily charge. Unlike the Congestion Charge, it is also proposed that vehicles with 9 or more seats including buses and coaches would be required to pay the charge as they con