Currently reading: London Mayor Boris Johnson plots war against diesel cars
The price to drive a diesel-fuelled car into central London could breach £20, according to new clean-air proposals put forward by Boris Johnson
Matt Burt
2 mins read
29 July 2014

London Mayor Boris Johnson is considering a plan to charge owners of many diesel cars a supplementary £10 to drive into central London on top of the existing Congestion Charge, pushing the price past the £20 mark to visit the capital.

According to a report by The Times, the Mayor will tonight announce his plans as part of a push to slash air pollution in the capital.

Other cities across the UK could follow by introducing their own versions of London's Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) to meet increasingly stringent clean air rules set by the European Commission.

Under the Mayor's plan – which could be introduced in 2020 – the Euro 6 compliant diesel engines that are currently being rolled out would be exempt from the extra charge, but some older and less-efficient petrol-fuelled cars could be penalised.

London is under severe pressure from Europe policy-makers due to its above-average levels of air pollution, and the toxins produced by diesel vehicles are cited as a key contributor to respiratory diseases. The Congestion Charge currently costs £11.50 per day for vehicles which produce more than 75g/km of CO2.

Mayor Johnson, the newspaper reports, also intends to lobby the government to increase road tax on diesel cars in an effort to persuade motorists to move across to cleaner car models.

Just under half of the new cars registered in the UK each month are diesel-fuelled, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

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29 July 2014
I would support this move. Diesel is a significantly more dirty and carcinogenic fuel vs. petrol but unfortunately, the obsession with CO2 has meant that this has been overlooked with negative outcomes on human health. When driving behind an older diesel it is apparent just how bad the fumes are.

This should be brought in before 2020.

29 July 2014 an effort to reduce CO2 levels and increase the air quality in central
London - will be next! Have a word Boris. And what about talking fast an farting, surely there's a case there too. Coming to a 2019 copy of exchange and mart near you, thousands of unwanted black cabs and red buses.

29 July 2014
About time. The obsession with CO2, and the tax rates of petrol and diesel cars that has resulted has put far too many diesels on our roads. And however clean their exhaust might be when new, Diesels dont have to be that old to start chucking out nasty stuff. What we really need a change to is the CoCar tax rates to stop diesel being the default choice for almost all company car drivers.

29 July 2014
I agree with artill, diesel isn't environmentally friendly compared to petrol, so it shouldn't be pushed as that with the tax rates (company car and road tax).

29 July 2014
Or it's a complete red-herring. They're by far the worst offenders, but of course they hold lobbying power - so we'll see what actually happens.

29 July 2014
At last we shall have revenge.

29 July 2014
While I don't agree with Boris' plans this more than anything highlights the fact that it is the toxins and particulates of diesels that are harmful, yet the government are only obsessed with CO2 and it's impact on the climate change and focus road tax on that. Yet they're so blind to the fact that a low-emitting CO2 diesel coughs up chemicals and polluting elements that are harmful to the environment and us, yet we're being forced to drive more diesels purely because of the extortionate cost of road tax for an equivalent petrol powered car. Even though petrol is a cleaner fuel.

29 July 2014
As the pollution in central London is not caused by diesel cars but by black cabs, buses and delivery vans (2 out of 3 not paying already) then this is just paying lip service to someone in Brussels.

29 July 2014
from any country they have no knowledge at all but they make rules and of course ask people to pay :)

To be honest the problem of particulate is coming from a lot of different root cause (i base it on Airparif an organisation which look at the air quality for Paris) :

for PM10 => 25% is coming for all the traffic (so if you take out taxi/lorries/vans that quite not the same as they represent 50% of the traffic)
for PM2.5 =>27%

50% is share between housing and industries...

That a hint on how useless it is do that.

It doesn't matter that petrol produce as well nano particule neither the diesel vehicle with DPF and to finish the story we are not even speaking about the benzene in the petrol.

The only way is to suppress any congestion, put very stringent emissions rules for housing and industries more than think of people owning a car as a cow you can always milk

29 July 2014
I do understand that diesel cars emit harmful toxins - any observant person can see and smell diesel cars spewing these on our roads, but that was always the case. Why were the diesel cars given preference over petrol cars in the first place? Before the congestion charge limit was 75g/km, most of the cars that could roam free of charge and spit harmful toxins in our beloved London were diesel cars. What a criminal oversight?


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