Council issue nearly 1,000 permits to help tackle air pollution

Merton Council has issued nearly 1,000 permits for diesel vehicles since introducing its green levy two months ago.

The levy was introduced to improve health by reducing air pollution and encouraging a switch to less polluting vehicles as part of the Mayor of London’s pledge to cut air pollution.

Merton agreed to phase in the annual charge over three years charging £90 (2017/18), £115 (2018/19) and £150 (2019/20) giving people time to change their vehicles.

To date, 971 resident, business and trade permits have been issued.

Owners of electric cars pay just £25 a year and the council is installing a network of vehicle charging points to encourage further use.

The council estimates it will raise more than £250,000 in the first year with money spent on air pollution, sustainable transport initiatives and infrastructure, such cycle lanes.

The Royal College of Physicians says air pollution contributes up to 40,000 deaths a year in the UK and reduces the lives of all Londoners by an average of eight months.