Everyone agrees we should have fewer vehicles on the road, and that those which are on the road should pollute as little as possible, but I wonder if there are other causes which are not being addresses at all.
E.g. heating - how much does heating contribute vs traffic? Is there any regulation on the maximum temperature that can be reached indoors? Such a limit would be hard to police in private houses, but not impossible to enforce in offices, stores, apartment blocks with centralised heating, etc.
How many minicabs are licensed in London? Has there been a spike in the number with the rise of Uber? How many enter the congestion charge zone? Can TFL cross check the plates of vehicles entering the zone with those of licensed minicabs to get a reliable number? Do we maybe have too many minicabs - would it make sense to reduce the number of licences?
What can be done to incentive lorries and HGVs to enter central London outside of rush hours? Eg has anyone thought of, say, higher congestion charge fees for large vehicles before 9am and after 4pm?
How many old vehicles are expected to be affected by the ultra low emissions zone?
I genuinely do not know the answer to all these questions. My reservation is that, without these answers, we risk spending lots of money on a measure which may well have very little impact!
Also, I don't own a car nor lorry, let alone a diesel one, but let's remember that years ago the government was actively promoting diesel as a green alternative. The frustration of those who had listened to official advice and bought a diesel vehicle, but are now told that now, diesel is nasty, is understandable.
By the way, the Standard article does NOT say that 7% of Southwark population is killed by pollution; it says that 7% of the deaths in the borough have been attributed (not clear by whom nor how) to pollution! To put things in perspective, Southwark has a population of ca. 300k people, and there were 1,305 deaths in 2013. 1,305/300k = 0.44% . One may argue the ratio may change depending on how you count births, and that the ratio will be different from year to year, but certainly not 7% of the population dies every year because of pollution!