Tackling air pollution is one of Mr Khan’s top priorities since he became mayor last May; But is it enough?

Mr Khan said: “The toxic state of our air leaves us with no choice but to rid our city of the most polluting diesel vehicles.”

“It is shocking that nearly half of new car sales in the UK are still diesel vehicles and the national system of vehicle excise duty still incentivises motorists to buy these polluting cars.”

The government said it was “firmly committed” to improving the UK’s air quality.

The government have commited £2bn since 2011 to increase the uptake of ultra-low emissions vehicles, support greener transport schemes and set out how we will improve air quality through a new programme of Clean Air Zones.

“In addition, in the Autumn Statement, we announced a further £290m to support electric vehicles, low emission buses and taxis, and alternative fuels.”

But the mayor wants to make it difficult for diesel cars to be driven through the city.

His plans include charging polluting cars an extra £10 for entering the congestion zone. He also wants to bring forward the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and expand it up to the North and South Circular Road.

A spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the industry was investing “billions” to reduce emissions and the latest diesel cars were the “cleanest in history”.

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) said he welcomed the mayor’s efforts to secure additional funding to help “drivers meet the cost associated with decommissioning the oldest, most polluting vehicles”.

London’s mayor has also called for the government to adopt a diesel scrappage fund to tackle air pollution there costing £515m.The government said it would be updating its air quality plans soon.

It is estimated it would achieve a 40% reduction in London road transport nitrogen oxide emissions.

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