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The mayor of London has confirmed plans to a introduce low emissions zone in the capital in 2019 – a year earlier than originally planned – in an attempt to curb hazardous pollution levels.

Sadiq Khan said ultra low emission zones would be introduced in April 2019, instead of 2020 as previously planned.

“The air in London is lethal and I will not stand by and do nothing,” said Mr Khan. He said the introduction of the ultra low emission zone would mean London “has the toughest emission standard of any world city.”

Cars, vans and motorcycles entering the zones will need to pay a £12.50 daily charge if they do not meet emissions standards. For heavy goods vehicles and buses this rises to £100. The only exception will be black cabs.

The scheme will replace the so-called T charge, an additional levy designed to reduce pollution, which is about to be implemented. Under the T charge drivers will need to meet minimum exhaust emission standards or pay an additional £10 to enter central London from October 23. This in in addition to the £11.50 congestion charge, which applies mainly to vehicles registered before 2005.

Mr Khan, who placed tackling London’s pollution problem at the heart of his manifesto, also announced the start of a consultation process to explore expanding the zone to cover almost all of Greater London, first to heavy diesel vehicles such as buses in 2020 and later to include light passenger vehicles and motorbikes in 2021.

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