London’s First Muslim Mayor Declares War On Old Cars

carLondon mayor Sadiq Kahn proposed Tuesday a $13 pollution charge on older, dirtier vehicles inside central London.

The charge, which would apply to all vehicles sold prior to 2005, is in addition to the nearly $14 congestion charge leveled against motorists.

“With nearly 10,000 people dying early every year in London due to exposure to air pollution, cleaning up London’s toxic air is now an issue of life and death,” Kahn said after announcing the proposal. “It is the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act of 1956, which was passed following the great London smogs of the 1950s. Today we face another pollution public health emergency in London and now it’s our turn to act.”

The move comes on the heels of a similar decision by Paris officials July 1.

Paris announced the ban would be targeted at old vehicles to cut down on pollution, and will affect all motorists with vehicles registered before 1997, as well as motorcycles registered before 1999. The law, which took effect July 1, will banish the older cars and motorcycles during the weekdays, all in an attempt to quell the city’s chronic pollution.

Motorists claim the law discriminates against the city’s poor people and the working class. They also want those affected by the ban to gather at a specified place “in memory of the principal of equality” and openly defy the law.

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