Reports suggest that London Mayor will dump sub-120g/km charge waiver
19 December 2007

If you’ve bought a car emitting less than 120g/km of carbon dioxide recently in the hope that you’ll be able to drive into central London without paying the Congestion Charge, you may be in for an unwelcome surprise in the New Year.According to reports in the national press today, Transport for London’s plan to reform the workings of the Congestion Charge, which were announced last November, may yet be scrapped or drastically altered.TfL’s plan was to increase the £8-a-day Congestion Charge to £25-a-day for the biggest emitters of CO2 – those in VED tax band G which produce more than 225g/km – but to waive it for any car in the zone in bands A or B, i.e. that emit less than 120g/km.Reports today suggest that, after sales of band A and B cars soared by more than a third in the first nine months of 2007, London Mayor Ken Livingstone could renege on the promise, in fear of allowing traffic levels to grow within the zone, and revenues to plummet. Deciding to junk the plans would cheat thousands of motorists out of hundreds of thousands of pounds they assumed they’d save by buying a band B car, and would fail car-makers such as Ford, VW, BMW and Hyundai who’ve already invested in sub-120g/km models in anticipation of the scheme.

"Make your mind up, Ken"

BMW UK's managing director Jim O'Donnell had this to say in reaction to the news: “Ken Livingstone’s policy of charging cars to enter central London has always been confusing because it has never been truly clear whether it is a measure to reduce pollution or congestion." "What the mayor must do is to recognise that it’s a congestion measure, apply the same charge to all cars entering London, and drop the proposed £25 charge for top-end cars which is no more than a kind of “envy” tax." “The current London plan has nothing to do with logic — beyond proving that local government should stay away from pollution measures altogether, and leave CO2 strategy to the EU, which has at least some understanding of the timescales the car industry has to work to." “I believe there’s little more we can do that will make the Mayor of London's office respond to our message. We’ve lobbied hard through the SMMT, but they’re not willing to listen." "In the end, the buyer will pay for everything. The car industry already spends more on R&D in Europe than any other industry, and it has made strong progress at cutting CO2 emissions. But it can’t work miracles."

Mayor's response

A spokesperson for the Mayor said: "There has been no decision to drop the proposal for higher charges of £25 on the most polluting band G vehicles or for reduced or zero charges for the least polluting band A and B vehicles."Our polling shows overwhelming support for these proposals by Londoners. Transport for London is undertaking analysis of the recent consultation. Once that has been done, a decision will be announced on how it is intended to proceed."The decision is likely to be announced in the New Year.

Join the debate

Comments
19

20 December 2007

Why am I not surprised to hear that once again Red Ken has lied in a thinly veiled attempt to cover up yet another way to steal off the motorist. Is it any wonder people like Boris Johnson is being taken so seriously when all we have to compare to is this.

It's been crystal clear from the start that the whole scheme was never designed to cut congestion. Their whole budget was built around the same volume of traffic entering the zone and paying the £5. When it didn't happen they went back on their word and upped the charge. And now because of continuing bad management they still can't balance to books so they're finding other ways to squeeze even more money out of us to pay for their pointless, ill-conceived, poorly run scheme.

B..

21 December 2007

[quote Kee Law]

why do people even need to drive into central london during the weekdays?

excluding the commercial vehicles making deliveries, who/ why are these other people driving about?

[/quote]

Well thats just it isnt it. In theory, the whole reason for it is to stop cars going into the city centre. Even it only cuts down a few hundred cars then to a degree it works. But why not have huge, free and secure car parks on the outskirts of london where people can hop a bus/tube/train the rest of the way? Instead of pay and display at all the train stations.

21 December 2007

Exactly right Dradus, lets face it if cities like Chester and Manchester can do it why can't London?

Non of this has anything to do with environmental awareness, it's about hitting the easiest target to increase revenue.

21 December 2007

As a Chauffeur I have to drive in London, visiting a number of destinations throughout the day, with a car load of Directors and Executives. Even with the charge, it's a cost effective and secure way for them to travel and work.

Those who take their cars to work do so not out of choice, but nessessity. Nobody wants to drive in London, unless they have to, to suggest otherwise is just simply foolish. The demonised cars are crammed into a reducing road space, the rest being for buses, taxis and those lovely cyclists.

I remember sitting in the Costa Coffee shop in New Oxford St with a colleague and counting the number of private cars in the traffic. There were very few and certainly not enough to cause the jam that was clearly happening. They are not the problem they are perceived to be by popularist 'thinkers'.

There were many empty buses queuing all the way down toward Oxford Street from High Holborn, who didn't move the whole time I sat there. The few passenges that sat on the buses, eventually got off. Nothing that is done to relieve congestion will work until it is realised that cars are not the only problem.

Park and ride schemes in London would just transfer the problem as does other schemes of this type. It defeats the object of having private cars, surely?

All that is clear is TfL don't have the answer either and are back pedalling themselves into a corner. Ken Livingstone is irrelevant.

21 December 2007

We'll never get free car parks outside of London to park in so we can stand on the tube for an hour.

I would suggest the cost of the land would make this impossible.

7 January 2008

Does anyone know what's happening with this now?

All sign of it has dissappeared from the TFL website!!!!

7 January 2008

Rosstopher,

Why do you have David Koresh as your avatar? Why is Koresh doing an impression of James Blunt?

We have a right to know.

SP

7 January 2008

I just admire anyone who can be a cult leadr/dictator.

Such single minded determination........

Oh and I'm the next messiah

7 January 2008

And why not?

One can only hope when the feast of wine, loaves and fishes ends, you are not asked to climb a green hill far away with a lump of wood on your back.

I often wonder if there were any loud mouth forty somethings in latter days bars of those days of Jesus who would brag, "Jesus? Son of God? he used to work with my brother-in-Law back in Nazareth. A Carpenter....he was rubbish, couldn't even do a dovetatil joint.......!!

And how stupid they felt when he was 'taken up'. "Your round I think Obediah!!" the other barflys would chastise the chap.

Lack of faith always has it's toll.

7 January 2008

[quote rosstopher]Oh and I'm the next messiah[/quote]

"Your death will stand as a landmark in the continuing struggle to liberate the parent land from the hands of the Roman imperialist aggressors, excluding those concerned with drainage, medicine, roads, housing, education, viniculture and any other Romans contributing to the welfare of Jews of both sexes and hermaphrodites. Signed, on behalf of the P. F. J. , etc. " And I'd just like to add, on a personal note, my own admiration, for what you're doing for us, Brian, on what must be, after all, for you a very difficult time.

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