New York state officials are developing the US’s first ever congestion charge plan.

Drivers entering Manhattan’s busiest areas will pay tolls destined to fund a much-needed subway modernisation.

Urban pollution concerns are intensifying in the West: studies reveal acute road pollution can stunt childhood development.

Britain’s 14 biggest cities all have illegal air pollution levels. Nearly two in three British teachers support banning traffic outside schools to lower air toxicity around school-times, a recent survey found.

In 2018, Madrid barred all fossil fuel-powered vehicles (except taxis and residents’ cars) from its centre. And circulating in London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone can incur over £30 in daily fees.

But such policies disproportionately affect suburban and rural commuters.

Critics argue congestion charges don’t deter wealthy drivers—who often own gas-guzzling vehicles—while penalising working-class commuters unable to afford central living, and perhaps depending on their car professionally.

Some suggest governments should instead outlaw CO2- and nitrous oxide-generating cars, or heavily tax their makers.

Do congestion charges shift responsibility for urban air pollution?

       

Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.