Van drivers could be forced to take second jobs after the Ultra Low Emissions Zone is introduced.

The Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) will be introduced in central London in April this year and be expanded to the North and South Circular Roads in October 2021.

Anyone driving in the zone will have to meet certain emissions standards or be forced to pay a daily charge of £12.50 per day.

But Bertrams Lukstins, who works for Kiffgo – a company which connects van drivers with people looking to hire a van – said the ULEZ could have a “detrimental effect” on drivers’ incomes.

Mr Lukstins, who is responsible for the marketing side of the company, said: “We have around 200 drivers and we really care about them.”

The company, which was set up around a year ago in Old Street, spoke to the drivers who work for them to see how the zone might impact on their work.

Mr Lukstins said: “We found some of them will have to take other jobs or work more hours.

“Some of their family members will have to get another job because of the amount of money they will have to spend on paying ULEZ fees.

“It will have a detrimental effect on their income.”

He said one driver he spoke, Elliot Batt, has a wife who works for the NHS who will have to start working nights of six to seven days a week just too make ends meet.

Mr Lukstins also hit out at the fact black cabs are exempt from paying the ULEZ charge.

He said: “Nobody wants a black cab, but everybody wants a man in a van.

“Under the ULEZ, delivery men and drivers will be hit very badly.”

Mr Lukstins said vans only contribute to around 13 per cent of emissions and van drivers will struggle to be able to afford ULEZ-compliant vehicles.

He said: “Drivers will be hit very badly and if they want to buy a van compliant with ULEZ they will not have very many options.

“This could also mean van drivers pass on their increased costs to customers because of the ULEZ and maybe have to take longer routes to avoid the zone which would lead to even more pollution.

“I think many drivers will be threatened by the ULEZ.”

Alex Williams, Transport for London’s director of city planning, said: “Air pollution is a public health crisis, which we are committed to tackling. It hits the poorest Londoners hardest and is leading to thousands of premature deaths every year.”

Mr Williams also said TfL would be minimising the impact of the ULEZ on businesses by introducing a diesel scrappage scheme this Friday to allow micro-businesses to apply for funding to switch to less polluting vehicles.