Sunday, February 28News For London

Young Londoners are supporting Mayor’s T-charge plan

Picture of cars moving through Piccadilly Street near Green Park (inside the Congestion Charge Zone) / Photo by Mohammed Bouabdallah

Many Londoners who were in Green Park last weekend said they had supported the toxic charge, commonly known as the “T-Charge”, which they considered as a starting point to reduce air pollution in London.

Roger Thornhill, 19, Crystal Palace, is one of the younger Londoners who are affected by poor air quality.

He said that he spent a period in Glasgow for this reason. He showed strong support for the Mayor’s new plan because thousands of people are suffering like him.

“I think it’s good, they need to be more harsh, charge more money,” Roger said, “because cars are really bad.”

Mayor Khan’s T-Charge plan came into force last week. It imposes an extra 10 pounds on drivers of old diesel and petrol cars when they enter the “Congestion Charge Zone”.

Roger also wanted to see other measures to save the lives of people affected by pollution. He suggested following Sweden in encouraging people to drive electric cars.

“I think we need that because any diesel or any polluting car is really bad for the environment.”

“There are more steps to be taken,” said Roger, “but to start it off, I think definitely it is the correct step to go through.”

The teenager opposed the idea that the businesses of some people might be affected by the “T-Charge”.

“They just have to see another way to earn money,” said Roger. His argument was that those cars are “bad for the World, environment and people”.

Londoners and tourists at Green Park, which is inside the T-Charge and Congestion Charge Zone / Photo by Mohammed Bouabdallah

Robyn Meadwell, 23, Bethnal Green, thinks quite differently about the issue.

Although she supports the new plan, she said: “They shouldn’t target the poor people”.

According to Robyn, it is not “their fault” that they own old cars. “They bought them because they thought they were cleaner,” she said.

Meanwhile, she thinks what the Mayor has done is “very good”. She believes that the T-charge is “a good idea”.

“It’s going to stop people entering the most polluted part of London with the most polluted vehicles.” said Robyn.

Barnaby Wood, 21, Woking, also supports the new plan that is aimed at helping to clean up London’s dangerously polluted air.

He talked to us in this video about what he thinks about the T-Charge and how to tackle air pollution in London.

Stephanie Houston, 23, Manchester, said that she does not support the new measure that was taken recently.

“I disagree with the tax that happened last Monday,” she insisted, “only because I think it is really difficult as if you live in London on the wages that we have got.”

She said that she is against this kind of restrictions. She thinks that this T-charge will prevent many people from driving they cars in central London.

“I just think that is restricting and less people will be enabled to drive”. She also said that fumes are “not only fumes coming from cars.

Sara desbarres, 21, Rome, was also concerned about air quality in London, where she works.

“I suggest to stop using the car because London is amazing,” she said. She stressed that people can use the bus and the tube rather than their own cars.

She showed her concern about environment and life in our planet.

“I think we need to be aware about what we are doing with this world,” she said, “because it is not just ours.”

In Mayor’s question time this month, the Green Party AM Caroline Russell welcomed the “significant drop in number of dirty vehicles entering central London.”

Russel, who is the Deputy Chair of the Environment Committee, described the Mayor’s new plan as “a symbolic move in the right direction.”

Thomas Heaton, 43-year-old man from West London, said that he rides bike and do not drive a car.

He agreed that pollution in Central London is a problem that needs to be solved.

“I think every think they do is in the right direction,” he said, “we can’t expect problems to be solved with one move.”

Mayor Khan emphasised in a recent tweet that T-Charge is a way to tackle a public health crisis.