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    London | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 April 2019

London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) "will be the toughest emission standard adopted by any city in the world," and will considerably improve air quality in London,  a spokesperson for the mayor said.

In order to improve air quality, an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is being implemented on Today in the center of London and it will expand to an area bounded by the north and south circular roads from Oct. 2021.

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The ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

Most vehicles, including cars and vans, need to meet the ULEZ emissions standards or their drivers must pay a daily charge to drive within the zone. It costs $16.30 for most vehicle types, including cars, motorcycles, and vans. Heavier vehicles such as buses are liable for a $100 charge.

The ULEZ charges will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than the age, although a rule of thumb is that it affects diesel made before 2015 and petrol cars before 2006.

London mayor Sadiq Khan declared the scheme will improve the capital’s air quality, which he says is responsible for thousands of premature deaths and other serious conditions.

"A vital step will be the introduction of the ultra-low emission zone in April next year, which will be the toughest emission standard adopted by any city in the world and will improve air quality for millions of Londoners," said a spokesperson for the mayor. On Twitter, the Mayor of London environment team wrote that "the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone is expected to reduce harmful road transport emissions in the zone by 45% in two years."

But everybody does not agree with this new measure. Indeed, Gareth Bacon, a leader of the Conservatives in the Greater London Assembly declared that the ULEZ charges will be "Sadiq Khan’s poll tax."

"The introduction of a daily £12.50 charge simply to use their cars, when they had previously done so without incurring any charge (other than the usual cost of motoring, which is not cheap in the UK) is going to come as a shock to a great many people," he added.

One petition on Change.org, which has more than 79,000 signatures, claims that the ULEZ  is "a stealth tax and nothing to do with air pollution!!"

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