London taxes older vehicles in bid to fight air pollution

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Cars enter the new Ultra Low Emission Zone that has come into force Monday, in London, Monday, April 8, 2019, one of the world's first emission charge for cars. Drivers of older and more polluting cars face paying a new £12.50 fee adding to the Congestion Charge to enter the centre of the capital. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

In a bid to fight air pollution, London has introduced one of the world's toughest vehicle emissions standards, placing a tax on older, more polluting cars that drive into the center of the British capital.

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Starting Monday, the drivers of diesel cars more than 4 years old and of gasoline-powered engines more than 13 years old must pay a 12.50-pound ($16.30) fee day or night when entering central London. That's on top of London's congestion charge, which is 11.50 pounds ($15) between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Non-compliant trucks and buses face a 100-pound ($130) daily fee.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan says the Ultra-Low Emission Zone is necessary since thousands die annually in London alone from toxic air. He says "the eyes of the world are on us."