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London introduces $12 daily 'toxicity charge' for most polluting cars

Allan Baxter | Photolibrary | Getty Images

London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, confirmed a £10 ($12.43) 'toxicity charge' for polluting cars on Friday, with authorities describing it as "the toughest emission standard of any world city."

It is expected that the 'T-Charge' will apply to as many as 10,000 of the oldest and most polluting vehicles that use central London's roads every weekday.

The levy will apply to motorists who use cars that do not reach Euro 4 standards, many of which are diesel and petrol vehicles registered before 2006.

The charge will be introduced in October this year, and will operate in addition to the standard Congestion Charge, which runs from Monday to Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

This means that a driver with a vehicle that does not meet the new standards could be charged £21.50 to drive in the congestion zone.

"It's staggering that we live in a city where the air is so toxic that many of our children are growing up with lung problems," Khan said in a statement. "If we don't make drastic changes now we won't be protecting the health of our families in the future."

"Londoners overwhelmingly support my plans to introduce this £10 charge because they feel when it comes to battling pollution the time for action is now," he went on to add.

"The T-Charge is a vital step in tackling the dirtiest diesels before I introduce the world's first Ultra Low Emission Zone as early as 2019."

Khan is looking to introduce several initiatives aimed at 'greening' London.

In November last year, he said that no more pure diesel double deckers would be added to London's fleet of buses from 2018, and that all new single-decker buses used in the center of the city would be zero-emission.

Last December, authorities said they were set to invest £770 million ($957 million) in cycling over the next five years.