The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, announced that Transport for London will start a consultation on Friday on a scheme to charge the cars that emit the greatest amount of greenhouse gases—such as the “Chelsea tractors” (SUVs), some high powered sports cars and expensive luxury vehicles—up to £25 (US$51) per day to drive in the present central London Congestion Charging Zone. (Earlier post.) The zone covers parts of Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea.
Cars driving outside the present congestion charging zone will not be affected. Within the congestion charging zone, the highest CO2 emitting cars, which represent just 8% of cars registered in London, would face the higher £25 charge and lose their entitlement to the residents’ discount.
Some of the worst examples produce two or three times as much greenhouse gases as the average family car.
The great majority of drivers within the zone would be unaffected and the least polluting vehicles will receive a 100% discount and not pay any congestion charge at all.
The proposed new charges are as follows:
Low-CO2 emitting cars will receive a 100% discount (£0). Includes cars in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) Bands A and B (less than 120g CO2 per km) which also meet Euro 4 air quality standard.
The majority of cars—VED Bands C, D, E and those in F with emissions up to 225g CO2 per km—will continue to pay exactly the same daily charge as at present: £8.
The highest CO2 emitting cars—VED Band G and equivalent vehicles (above 225g CO2 per km), as well as those registered pre March 2001 with engines larger than 3,000 cc—will pay £25 a day.
Transport—excluding aviation—accounts for 22% of London’s CO2 emissions, with cars accounting for nearly half of this. According to a poll conducted by MORI for the Mayor, 64% of Londoners think the most polluting cars should pay a higher congestion charge.
The consultation will start on 10 August and end on 19 October.