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MoT Gets Tough on Emissions as London Mayor Lines Up New Driving Charge

Reducing emissions helps meet targets for climate-change and improve overall air quality, so MoT testing is to be made stricter, with all vehicles having to comply with tough emission tests and inspections of safety systems according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Polution and Diesel fumes

Head of MoT policy at the DVSA, Mr Barlow, said: “The MoT will need to change if it is to stay useful, both in terms of safety systems and emissions. Manufacturers put loads of effort into designing some tech that goes on modern cars with internal combustion engines. We will probably want to be better at checking that those systems will be working as designed.”

All new cars sold in Europe from 2022 will have to have several safety systems fitted by the motor trade manufacturer, these include intelligent speed assistance, autonomous emergency braking, and lane assistance. Systems like these could form part of the future MoT testing requirements.

Tightening-up of emissions checks would partly be driven by the UK national emission targets as engine wear, and other aspects of degradation mean all cars become less clean with more usage and age.

The news comes at the same time London considers introducing yet another charging zone, with motorists having to pay £3.50 to enter outer London boroughs unless Transport for London (TfL) is awarded more government funding.

Officials at TfL are currently investigating the feasibility of the project after requiring a £1.8 billion bailout from the Government back in November to keep services running until March 2021.

Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has threatened to introduce a daily fee unless the Government allows TfL to keep £500 million in vehicle excise duty (VED) paid out by Londoners each year, these funds would be invested directly into the transport network, not the motor trade industry.

The new Boundary Charge would take at least two years to be introduced and could also focus on the most polluting vehicles, charging them even more money.

Nicholas Lyes from the RAC said: “Vehicle excise duty receipts are currently spent on improving the strategic road network across the country so if TfL was to be allocated a share of these, London drivers would rightly expect the money to be put towards improving the capital’s main arterial roads.”

He added: “The Mayor already has income from both the Congestion Charge and the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, so levying yet another charge on drivers entering a wider part of London would feel more like a money-grabbing excercise which would be particularly punitive for tradespeople, small businesses and care workers.”

Mr Khan believes the charge would help manage congestion in London and encourage travellers to use more sustainable modes of transport, and by doing less vehicle mileage it could reduce the cost of an insurance policy for motorists.

According to the mayor’s office over 1.3 million motoring trips are made from vehicles outside of the capital city on weekdays alone, which shows many motorists and companies benefit from using London’s vast road network without contributing to its maintenance or upkeep.

A Government spokesman said: “we have always been clear that this support must be fair to UK taxpayers, which is why we look forward to receiving TfL’s comprehensive management plan for achieving financial sustainability as soon as possible”.