Sadiq Khan urges car companies to donate to London's clean air fund

London's mayor has called on BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen to pay towards clean air in the capital, following a report that shows every Londoner is breathing dangerously polluted air

Emma Featherstone
Friday 06 October 2017 14:27
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London traffic contributes towards the toxic levels of air in the capital.
London traffic contributes towards the toxic levels of air in the capital.

Sadiq Khan has urged car manufacturers to compensate for toxic vehicle emissions by contributing to London’s air quality fund.

The capital’s mayor made the request in writing to BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

This follows the publication of the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory on Wednesday, which found that each resident in London is breathing air containing dangerous pollutants in concentrations at or above World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

Mr Khan said that the car companies should offer compensation for the part their diesel vehicles have played in the capital’s air quality.

The firms Mr Khan wrote to have paid up to £223m to the German government’s sustainable mobility fund for cities.

VW paid $15bn of compensation to the US after it was revealed that millions of its cars had been fitted with devices that make cars seem less polluting in emissions tests than they are when used on the road.

On 23 October, a toxicity charge on polluting vehicles in London will be introduced as one of Mr Khan’s plans to improve London’s air quality.

The mayor also wrote to the transport secretary Chris Grayling encouraging the Government to secure contributions from vehicle manufacturers on the same level as those received by the US for the VW dieselgate scandal.

Mr Khan said: “The Government must act urgently to secure a meaningful amount of funding from these manufacturers, which could help people to scrap the most polluting diesel vehicles and take these off our streets.”

In July, Mr Khan said that VW had shown “utter contempt” for Londoners by refusing to pay a £2.5m congestion charge bill for dieselgate cars being used in the capital. He had met with VW’s UK boss to ask that the firm compensate Londoners who had the defeat devices in their cars or reimburse Transport for London for the lost congestion charge.

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