The London Mayor has said claims made by the Conservatives that fire engines will be fined for attending emergencies are "nonsense."
Sadiq Khan's representatives refuted claims by the opposition party on the Greater London Assembly that under a new emissions tax, set to be implemented in 2019, the fire service could face penalties for travelling to incidents in central London.
The mayor's team said fire engines in the capital are in the process of being made more environmentally friendly and that the Conservatives should focus on dealing with air pollution.
A spokesman for the London Mayor said: “It is absolute nonsense to suggest that London Fire engines – or any of London’s emergency service vehicles – will be fined for attending emergencies.
“This is yet another example of the Tories opposing plans to clean up the city’s filthy air and save lives, which are supported by environment and medical experts, business and Londoners.
"They should throw their weight behind tackling the city’s dangerous air pollution instead of deliberately misleading Londoners.
“The Mayor is pleased that the emergency services are showing leadership in cleaning up their fleets and taking bold steps towards becoming cleaner and greener.”
The Conservatives said the London Fire Brigade could face a £12.50 fine per day for travelling inside the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) from 2019.
Furthermore the Tories stated London Fire Brigade wants an exemption for the charge but the proposal has been repeatedly blocked by the Mayor, who has refused exemptions for any of London’s blue-light services.
London Assembly member Gareth Bacon said: "London’s fire engines should not be fined for saving lives.
“It defies belief that Sadiq Khan would fine our fire engines for attending emergency incidents. These journeys are made to save people’s lives.
“London Fire Brigade should rightly upgrade its engines but it already has a timeline in place.
"It is unnecessary and unwise to charge the service half a million pounds for non-compliance in the interim.
“In blocking requests for exemptions, the Mayor is blindly sticking to his guns despite common sense staring him in the face."
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