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Porsche Cars GB and London Mayor Clash over Proposed Congestion Charge Hike

by Jack Rosebro

The Times of London and other UK newspapers are reporting that Porsche Cars Great Britain will apply for judicial review of proposed increases in London’s congestion charge (earlier post), which will see the cost of driving the highest GHG-emitting cars (Band G, > 225 g/km) in the capital rise from £8 ($15.50) a day to £25 ($49) a day. The increased charges are scheduled to be implemented starting 27 October 2008.

Porsche says that the proposed increase in the congestion charge for Band G cars is disproportionate and that it will not reduce emissions in central London. All but two of the 56 Porsche model variants on sale in the UK are in Band G, according to VCA Drivers of the two that are not are in Band F will be levied the original £8 fee. By contrast, Transport for London’s analysis concludes that by 2010, CO2 emissions would be reduced by an additional 500 to 7,500 tonnes per year under the new charging scheme.

A massive congestion charge increase is quite simply unjust. Thousands of car owners driving a huge range of cars will be hit by a disproportionate tax which is clear will have a very limited effect on CO2 emissions.

Not only is this rise completely unfair to many drivers, but it will also damage London based-businesses of all sizes, and successful people from across the world will start to think twice about basing themselves here if they think they are going to be used as cash cows for City Hall.

—Andy Goss, Managing Director of Porsche Cars GB

A spokesperson for Mayor of London Ken Livingstone fired back:

Porsche’s threatened legal action is a double attack on Londoners. First Porsche are trying to deprive Londoners of their democratic right to decide in the Mayoral election on 1 May whether they want gas guzzling and polluting cars to drive in London when there is absolutely no need for them to do so. Second they are trying to impose on all Londoners unnecessary levels of pollution and greenhouse gases by a tiny minority. No one is allowed to throw their rubbish in the street and Porsche should not be allowed to impose gas guzzling polluting cars on Londoners who do not want them.

Porsche Cars GB said that it would issue a written complaint to the Mayor this week. Livingstone will then have 14 days to respond to Porsche. If he fails to respond, or refuses to reconsider his plans, Porsche intends to submit its application for judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice.



John Seaman

Blogging about travel. Link Exchange.


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