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How we're cleaning up London's air

Every year, thousands of Londoners are dying prematurely from long-term exposure to air pollution and our latest research shows that hundreds of schools are located in areas exceeding safe legal pollution levels.

Mayor Sadiq Khan is implementing tough measures to reduce London's deadly air pollution and protect the health and wellbeing of all Londoners.

Here's how we're taking action:

Toxicity Charge (T-Charge)

car pollution icon

A £10 toxicity charge or T-Charge now applies to older, more polluting vehicles in central London. The charge was introduced on 23 October 2017.

Including the Congestion Charge fee, drivers with these vehicles will pay £21.50 total during peak congestion, so the message here is clear - polluting vehicles aren't welcome.

TfL and the Mayor have also launched a free online vehicle checker - so you can check if your vehicle will be charged.

See our T-Charge and ULEZ FAQs page.

Ultra Low Emission Zone

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The world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is to start 8 April 2019, approximately 17 months earlier than planned.

The ULEZ will supersede the T-charge and create stricter emissions standards for diesel vehicles, 24 hours, 7 days a week. Those that do not comply will face a charge.

This is expected to reduce harmful NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) emissions by about 50 per cent in central London, 40 per cent in inner London and 30 per cent in outer London.

London's buses

Side of a bus

The Mayor is spending more than £300 million to transform London’s bus fleet by retrofitting thousands of buses and committing to phase out pure diesel double deck buses from 2018.

We have announced 12 Low Emission Bus Zones, putting the greenest buses on the capital’s most polluted routes, with the first located in Putney High Street and Brixton Road.

The zones are expected to reduce NOx emissions by 84 per cent and thousands of school children in these areas will benefit from cleaner air.

Clean Vehicle Checker

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London and Paris agreed to launch a new vehicle scoring scheme to help reduce the number of polluting vehicles in their cities.

The Mayor of London's Cleaner Vehicle Checker went live on 17 October 2017, and shows Londoners how much toxic NOx new cars emit, helping them to choose and buy less polluting vehicles.

It also strongly encourages manufacturers to build cleaner vehicles sooner.

Paris' version is due to launch in spring 2018.

Protecting schools from pollution

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At the beginning of 2017, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced plans to protect London's schools from pollution.

50 'air quality' audits will take place at primary schools in areas exceeding legal limits of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). And ideas to lower emissions and exposure will be put forward.

Boroughs will then work with schools to implement changes (using £1 million from the Mayor).


London's taxis

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New taxis licensed after 1 January 2018 will need to be zero emission capable to help clean up London's dirty air.

The new plans include new ‘zero emission’ ranks for drivers who pioneer green technology alongside a network of rapid electric charge points.

This charging network will be integral in supporting the greening of London's iconic black cab fleet, with many charging points dedicated exclusively to their use by the end of 2018.

New technology is changing the way many Londoners access taxis and private hire vehicles, and the Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan also addresses how regulation can be used to ensure safety standards are applied across the taxi and private hire markets.

  • 9000+
    of Londoners
    die early every year because of air pollution (September 2017)
  • £3.7
    the cost of air pollution to London’s economy
  • 24%
    Primary schools
    are in areas that breach the legal limit for NO2 (air pollution)
  • 2x
    as likely to die
    from lung diseases if you live in deprived vs affluent areas of London


You can find out more about air quality in London using the links below: