In a move that will affect some fresh produce suppliers in the capital, drivers of the most polluting vehicles now have to pay almost twice as much to enter the centre of London.
The new £10 ‘T-charge’, introduced on 23 October, comes in addition to the £11.50 congestion charge, taking the total cost to £21.50 for some lorries.
The toxicity charge covers the same area and operating times as the congestion charge zone and applies mainly to vehicles registered before 2006 that do not meet the ‘Euro 4’ European directive to regulate vehicle emissions.
The new fee was introduced by London mayor Sadiq Khan to reduce the city’s air pollution and prepare for the introduction of an ultra-low emission zone, which could come as early as April 2019.
He said: "As Mayor I am determined to take urgent action to help clean up London's lethal air. The shameful scale of the public health crisis London faces, with thousands of premature deaths caused by air pollution, must be addressed.
"Today marks a major milestone in this journey with the introduction of the T-charge to encourage motorists to ditch polluting, harmful vehicles.
"London now has the world's toughest emission standard, with older more polluting vehicles paying up to £21.50 a day to drive in the centre of the city. The T-charge is a stepping stone to the ultra-low emission zone, which could be introduced as early as 2019.
"This is the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe."