back to article London Congestion Charge becomes CO2 tax

London mayor Ken Livingstone yesterday announced a comprehensive shift in the capital's "congestion charge" road-pricing policy, reorienting the tolls much more towards green issues and away from actual congestion charging. The mainstream charge remains the same, with ordinary cars charged £8 for a day's access to the …

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  1. Tim

    120g discount

    Fantastic news. Now he has eradicated the C-charge for small cars I will be dusting off my girlfriend's old Fiesta and enjoying a lovely, private drive to my city office rather than enduring hell on the tube. It's now cheaper for us to do that than to both pay for Oyster cards.

    Cheers Ken, you stupid, arrogant communist. The law of unintended consequences will bite you hard on this one.

  2. Andrew Heenan
    Coat

    Let's See Boris Do Better!

    1. "towards green issues and away from actual congestion charging."

    2. "The mainstream charge remains the same"

    nuff said.

  3. gabor
    Stop

    CO2 Tax

    I'm just waiting for the day when I can get from Earl's Court to Canary Wharf without a signal failure or other delays. Also waiting for the day when the tube cars are properly cleaned and get air conditioned. And when a montly pass for zones 1 and 2 costs less than leasing a _decent_ car. And when it's not the goddam buses causing 90% of the congestion in Central London. I think there are about 8 million people that could continue my rant.

    point is, charge car drivers when fucking public transport is AFFORDABLE and WORKS - in other words, when it's a convenient alternative.

    Has anyone mentioned these changes to the people that still have jobs in Solihull?

  4. Dazed and Confused
    Black Helicopters

    Fleece the poor as usual

    >The punitive £25 charge applies to pre-2001 cars

    So if you can't afford a new car they'll tax you to death.

    Forget the massive emissions of manufacturing new cars, lets force everyone to join the throw away society.

    Can someone please explain why this is a "green" policy

    Black helicopter coz some manufacture has got to be funding someone here.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Rich? That's rich.

    "the mayor has just given the green light for richer people to buy smaller cars "

    So, what's wrong with that?

    Richer people can afford to pay more tax, OR to buy smaller cars, but if they CHOOSE the greener option despite being able to afford a bigger car, surely that's a POSITIVE result ?

  6. Jamtits
    Thumb Down

    All hail the new world religion!

    "In another green-policy shift, it was also announced that the congestion charge exemptions for hybrids (including the Toyota Prius)"

    What's green about a car that gets 30mpg, and is full of lead acid batteries?

    Carbon tax? Well then, that's a good thing. Put their money where their mouths are, and then the houses of parlement can pay all our taxes.

  7. Steve Todd Silver badge

    Not a very high hurdle

    Anything pre 2001 can have up to a 3 litre engine. Anything post 2001 can emit upto 225g/km (so a 3 litre Merc E class automatic is OK). Just how many large families, living in central London, short of cash, driving newer than 2001 cars with more than 225g/km emissions are there?

  8. Richard Porter
    Thumb Down

    Why pre-2001

    Putting a punitive tax on older cars doesn't make sense. Scrapping an old car and manufacturing a new one creates far more pollution and CO2 emissions than keeping the older car running. The pre-2001 car could be equipped with a much newer, fuel-efficient engine.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Time to buy a sodding large old smoker .. abroad

    I think it could be quite fun to buy or hire a bunch of older, very large (preferably US) cars that also belch a bit and drive in and out of central London. If they have a decent foreign registration (for instance, an Arab plate which the TfL OCR will choke on) there isn't a chance in hell they'll ever be able to charge them, and as demonstration it's quite functional.

    Am I not green? Actually, I am, but I'm fed up with the environmental terrorism that alleges to try and save the planet whilst wasting the money required to get decent transport that would go quite some way to alleviate the problem. Why does London still have so many unsynchronised roadworks? Wasn't that the Grand Plan for London getting a Mayor again? How much is wasted by maintaining those perimiter scans? Why is Ken's own department blowing so much on taxis (and on useless consultants)? Why does London Underground overcharge customers surrepticiously via Oyster? Why is London Underground staff actively barred from talking about the Customer Charter refunds for excessive delays, and why has that refund been made so difficult (and hidden - a survey of 32 brochures identified one single sentence in one brochure only, and no explanation)?

    No, the real motivation appears to be simply the increasing milking of a population that no longer has a choice but needs cars to escape the heaving mess called London Underground. And the Greens are happy to play along - until there is a child that has to go to hospital, or there is a need to shop for new sandals.

    Yeah, Ken is Labour alright. Consider getting rid of him a good exercise for ditching New Labour later. There is no reason for the UK to go as rapidly downhill as the US, but I digress.

    So there. I'll take my medicin now ..

    Incidentally, stick "LUL" (London Underground Limited) in Google language tools and let it translate from Dutch to English..

    I'll have the seal fur lined Hummer jacket, thanks.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Let's see, just what cars will this affect?

    Yes, there's the flag-waving Prius, but there's also the diesel MINI, which is in fact even more economical than the Prius (72mpg to 65mpg) while churning out the same 104g/km of CO2. Oh, and the diesel 1-series, which sneaks under the bar at 119g/km. Good news for estate agents everywhere, then.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Dust to Dust

    I'd like to see gubbmints and environmental advocates get serious and start producing 'dust-to-dust' environmental impact statements on every model of every manufacturer's cars. I would expect that some (many?) of the materials used in so-called 'green' cars would far offset the measured-at-the-exhaust-pipe benefits they're supposed to provide.

    Ah well, a scandal waiting for its future television documentary.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good one!

    Nice one Ken.

    To the polluting whingers - to paraphrase that nice Mr Tebbit - get off your fat arses and onto your bikes perhaps? Or God forbid you City types actually have to get on the bus like the rest of us proles.

  13. Tim

    Wrong way

    He was closer before. It was a charge to stop the whole city being gridlocked and bathed in pollution. Now it seems it's a charge to encourage the use of new cars. With a modification I was running a 2.1TD Citroen Xantia Estate (1998) which was emmiting less pollution than most new smaller cars. The M.O.T reading showed it produced 89% less pollution than the year before unconverted, and it was bellow the M.O.T standard that year also.

    Had it been 3 years younger the car may well have qualified for exeption to the congestion charge. Is CO2 less harmful for the environment if it comes out of a newer car? Do old cars produce more toxic fumes, if they do why isn't that the exemption clause?

    It seems the Congestion charge is about getting shiny modern cars driving through London, rather than the sort the rest of the country have. Image is everything.

  14. NICHOLAS SAUNDERS

    Rich people wouldn't be seen dead in an old car...

    been said already but how many rich people would been seen in a 7 year old car? So red ken screws the working class he supposedly loves....

    Worked in london and the number of women attempting to drive 4x4 to school and back beggars belief and it sounds like they'll still get away with it based on these proposals.

    Easier solution is to base the congestion/co2 charge on vehicle weight and co2 performance. You'll get most of the Chelsea tractors this way and a few city fat cats hopefully!

  15. Sam
    Thumb Up

    Nice one Ken!

    Absolutely right! Too many ostriches commenting here. Even the conservatives who claim to be green admit that traffic in London is down 21% and as a cyclist, walker and tube user I fully support this increase. £8 is nothing to people who spend almost that much on a croissant and coffee every day...

    To the poster who wants airconditioning on the tube, well there was a competition to win 100k if you could come up with a way of cooling the tube....and none of the brains of Europe could come up with something. When you have the worlds oldest underground, others are bound to learn from your mistakes and omissions. 10m people come into London everyday and a lot of them use the underground. The system is old but it works. Sure there's crowding but hey, its a big city. A reality check is required...

    Carrot and Stick - progressive politics...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid

    They'll sell their big cars cheap and buy smaller cars. So it just moves the CO2 out of London. Unless you can get those big cars scrapped, it won't reduce the number of big cars, just move then out of London.

    People outside of London who couldn't justify the price of a big 4x4 will find cheap second hand ones coming out of London. Or worse, people outside of London who *would* have bought a large vehicle will get it cheaper now and can afford to drive more.

    He may think it will encourage people to NOT buy 4x4's but the fuel prices has crippled that market already, the only people buying I think are the people who don't care about money.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Phew!

    Just noticed that my Focus ST 2.5 creeps in under the super-charge with emmissions at 224g/km. No £25/day for me..

    Even less chance of paying once I consider that I am actually in Birmingham, with no congestion charge of any kind imposed. I then consider that 'round here has considerably higher rates of car ownership than London, and ponder 'why are there not huge traffic jams all day'?

    Oh yes, that'll be because the locals have invested in a few roads now and then- I would advise Ken to do the same (not that it will happen in a month of sundays, of course).

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so...

    My 1996 vw Golf that runs on 100% biodiesel made from recycled waste vegetable oil (with a green as possible conversion process, that keeps it out of land fill sites, and is a mostly carbon neutral fuel) is now charged at £25? another crock of sh1t from rip-off UK.

    Hey Ken - how about a thought about us people that REALLY do something about the environment, oh and people who dont like bio-fuels might want to look at this new law (that was kept *very* *very* quiet, for obvious reasons) maybe it will change your mind... if for no reason except your pocket.

    http://thatsgreen.blogspot.com/2007/06/uk-government-scraps-duty-on-biofuel.html

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Congestion? Emissions? Duh?

    A basic lesson in economics for the green morons. The City of London and financial services contribute 25% of total UK tax. PSBR is rising, and with that we are likely to see rises in interest rates and falling values of the property sector outside london as well as within it. Anything which makes London more efficient and more attractive to financial services benefits the entire UK economy through influx of capital, tax revenue, job creation, etc - check out Germany, where property prices have stagnated for 14 years as a result of inflexible labour markets, excessive regulation and lack of a financial centre to compete with London.

    Anything, and i mean anything, which lessens London's attractiveness as a financial centre, and this includes Red Ken's idiotic "congenstion/pollution/wait no lets just try to tax the rich more" taxes, as well as the equally moronic non-dom proposed taxes, is going to have the medium term effect of making London less attractive. And do all you whiners want to know what the impact on the UK economy of that repatriation of taent, taxes, and capital will be? see earlier point on Germany in case you didnt get it.

    Red Ken was elected as he was viewed as non-political and pro-London. This latest sign of his lack of a handle on what drives the London and UK economy are hopefully enough to assure that he will not be re-elected. All you whiners complaining about City fat cats obviously dont realise that wihout said fat cats you dont get 300% house price appreciation in a nation with 85% home ownership - instead you get 0% house price appreciation and 40% home ownership (again see Germany point earlier).

    NB Red Ken also mentions in the press release that these measures are the "initial" steps...i have heard from inside TFL that the plan is to move it to 7 days a week, and apply to all cars based on the emissions shown at MOT rather than on purchase, hence trashing the second hand car values of all vehicles anywhere close to the 225g/km limit on purchase.

    Let's put an end to this nonsense. London is becoming the ultimate Orwellian state, run, ironically, by a chippy Commuist who disguises his redistributive urges as congestion then pollution driven.

    If Red Ken is so keen to posit that 2/3 of eligible £25 tax payers will stop driving, why does his over-staffed department not hazard a guess as to the number of cars below 120g who will decide to drive in given that it will be i) free ii) cheaper to park, and iii) the resale value of v small vehicles is likely to be assured? and if therefore, as i suspect, congestion will, in number of vehicles, be the same....what have we achieved?

    It has been said before, but the way to reduce congestion is to improve the quality and cost of alternatives. Do something about the tube you stupid moron and stop making London less efficient for the highest rate taxpayers.

  20. Carl

    @Richard Porter

    Are you 'sniff petrol' Richard Porter?

  21. James
    Pirate

    @Sam

    "10m people come into London everyday and a lot of them use the underground. The system is old but it works."

    Clearly you either have:

    a) a different definition of "works"

    or

    b) a vastly higher tolerance of filth and overcrowding

    than me. London Underground is a creaking, vastly overpriced, wreck unfit for purpose. I think you are the one in need of a reality check. I'm fully expecting London Underground to buckle under the increased usage the pointless 2012 Olympics will place on it. I'm all for the Olympics as long as the hosts can host it properly, pity London is woefully unequipped to do so.

    The so-called Congestion Charge is nothing more than a scam for making money for a mayor who shreds documents so we can't read what he gets up to under the Freedom of Information Act. London never needed a mayor and the last thing it needed was Ken as mayor. I'll be voting Boris, at least he says things before his brain kicks in to censor him and thus ends up remarkably honest for a politician.

  22. gabor

    @ Anon

    Re: Congestion? Emissions? Duh?

    Well said.

  23. James
    Pirate

    Pragmatism Required

    Another point that I must make but will be ignored like all the others is that public transport simply is not the answer for many. No matter how reliable, clean and cheap they could (let's be honest this is a hypothetical situation) make it. It is still utterly unusable for some people.

    I offer up myself as an example (ignore your prejudice about people justifying their use of cars and read the damn argument). I normally drive to work in a decently efficient car (45mpg/155g/km isn't the best but I feel shit loads safer and more comfortable in my car than the super-low emission cars on athe motorways which I have to drive regularly) and it takes 25 mins to get to work. Due to an eye injury, I am currently unsafe to drive so I don't (wish more people realised this sort of thing). I am condemned to using public transport which takes 2 hours, yes more than 4x as long, IF AND ONLY IF EVERYTHING IS WORKING PERFECTLY. Which it never does.

    My time is valuable to me and I don't need to waste 3 hours a day commuting by train. Even if the trains were perfect and cheaper than driving, I would still drive until my employer increases my net salary by 3/8 to compensate for the additional time I'd waste on work-related activity. If I had kids, I would want to spend time with them so getting home after 8 pm after a 2 hour commute would simply not be a remotely acceptable option. I live 8 miles from my place of work FFS, I could bloody nearly WALK that in 2 hours!

  24. P. Lee Silver badge
    Coat

    I've said it before...

    Narrow dedicated motorway lanes with 120mph speed limits for motorcycles. Get Harley-Davidson to run ad campaigns for prestige bikes and see what happens. Who knows, arriving at work in leathers may become trendy...

    ...and yes I know - its Ken's way of raising money and has nothing to do with either CO2 or congestion.

  25. Terry
    Happy

    Woop!

    I have a diesel Citroen C2, and it comes in at 109g/km so I'm way under. I just had a renewal notice for my car tax too, and because of that it's £35 for the entire year.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    London is broken

    I'm sure I haven't lived in London for as long as some people but I still feel that it is long enough to comment on Mr.Livingston's practices.

    The whole of TfL is broken, since I came here I've seen the prices for a bus day-pass become the price for a single (if you have an Oyster) and almost impossible to buy since they wont sell you one on the bus. Saver tickets have been abolished, making it harder for casual visitors to travel cheaply and all this with no improvement of the system. All the sign posts lie, 8-12 minutes ... never. You wait for at least 20 minutes and then 3 of the damned things turn up and there is still no place to sit. The tube is ridiculously expensive and the Oyster system is like flushing your money down the toilet, and woe betide you if you are in a hurry and you decide to leave the tube via your point of arrival because the train didnt come, they'll slap you with a penalty charge for the pleasure of waiting on their platform. There are no bins in the whole system supposedly a counter terrorism measure and yet in Madrid where for years home-grown terrorism from ETA was a risk there have always been bins regularly placed on the platform helping to keep the whole system a bit more bareable. In fact the new Madrid underground system is a fantastic model for what we should have in London, and apart from the new extensions it was all done in a very old network much like alot of the London lines, its all air-conditioned and you can walk all the way up and down a train if you cant find a seat in the carriage you are in, its fantastic.. not only that but it is on time (and a hell of a lot cheaper!!)

    And as for car ownership, it is a total farce.. the merry armies of council parking wardens with their quotas only adds insult to injury, half the spaces in the borough are supposedly removed for some building work (which never seems to materialise after months), this itself is supposed to cost some £360 per week, resulting in a shortage of spaces for the mass of cars across the place, meaning more fines and clamping fees which go straight into the councils pocket and they do nothing to alleviate the parking situation, at the very least they should only give out permits for the number of spaces that exist in the borough and it would help everyone of people were 'perusaded' to only have 1 car per household. The congestion charge is equally wrong, the taxis and buses stink far worse than anything else in London, i'd like to see their g/km ratings. frankly the simplest thing would be to ban all cars that dont comply to euro 4 emissions criteria from central london, with a euro 3 ring a bit further and euro 2 to the m25, no matter what size or weight of vehivle, but of course this doesnt actually make anyone any money except in the fines of people who are found to flout the ban.

    anyway I've had enough of this rant, it just makes me angry, London is such a great city which is totally ruined by its infrastructre so I'll be moving soon.

    maybe when I'm due to retire it will be fixed again.

    certainly i would never vote for Mr.Livingston to be mayor.

  27. Charlie

    Well...

    If this gets all those tossers driving 4 wheel drives in the middle of London off the streets, it's a great thing.

    If you own a Landrover, and don't own a farm, you're a twat. Nuff said.

  28. Andy Bright
    Dead Vulture

    Bah

    As long as the previously mentioned gadget that will determine the distance between my car-boat and the ground on which we used to walk is included as standard, drivers won't give a fuck about the environment. After all what would you choose? Less driving or some fancy gadget that can predict the height required for your house stilts?

    Besides, surely the penguins will revolt and deep-freeze the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with able assistance from mutinous monkey butlers, and an alliance with the fleets of (low emission) robot deathbots.

    I give the human race another 10-15 years before the AI that controls the roving air-fleet of robot war machines decides we are the single largest threat to the world, and subsequently eradicates us all.

    All ground-based vehicles, together with their human masters, will be incinerated by robotic petrol pump attendants, and any attempt to flee will be curtailed by legions of satanic vacuum cleaners and portaloos.

    And you lot are worried about paying a few extra quid to drive through London, fools the lot of you. The apocalypse awaits, and no amount of pandering to the machines by fifth columnists like Ken Livingstone can avert our eventual doom.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Air Conditioned London Underground

    No. The Muridae family would not enjoy the change in (underground) climate at all. The LU is the only system I have seen that provides for the perfect environment for rattus rattus.

  30. Robert Hill
    Stop

    TfL is SO broken...

    If you don't think so, you haven't been to New York, Madrid, or a score of other places. I think NYC is the best demostration - fares are half (no surprise there, everything else is too), all lines are four tracks, so that they can run all night and still do maintanance, and the cars are air conditioned, even if old. The trains are longer, larger, and handle more people - in short, it is just more industrial-strength. That is what London would really, really need to move people onto mass transit in large numbers.

    But my favorite TfL message had to be this past weekend, when the loudspeaker was shouting at us to notify that "planned engineering works" had basically crippled most of the western tube lines towards Hammersmith, AND YET there was still a "staff shortage" on the remaining lines, further crippling westbound service. And after nearly a half hour wait in Shepards Bush, we finally got a train...

    And oh yes, Ken is an idiot...never mix your policies, they always have unintended consequences. If you want to stop congestion, have a congestion charge...if you want to enforce CO2 emissions, have a well-defined tax for that. But mixing is always a bad idea...just like during a long night at the pub. This will be a disaster, unavoidably...

  31. Chris

    London's truly out of control

    Seriously - the UK has got policies on pollution, Co2 emissions, etc, etc... Imposed by the central government.

    But now the left wing Nazi in charge of London has decided that's not enough! Nope, he has to, as he's always done over the years, pursue his own self-serving totalitarian agenda. WHAT a surprise.

    Of course, this will merely increase the damage done by his original stroke of genius (the congestion charge), while generating a feel good factor among the tree-hugger voters sector.

    'Damage'? Well, yes. Since the original congestion charge area was put in place I haven't entered it. From visiting London for trivial purposes about twice a month, injecting maybe £7k a year into the local central London economy, to staying away. Oh yes, he's prevented me bringing my car into London... and my money.

    This is the sort of consequence of his 'policies' that he, and his admirers, ignore. And, as has been pointed out elsewhere, there will be adverse consequences to his latest stroke of genius that will be highly counter-productive, but, who cares?

    Just so long as the attendant publicity obscures the fact that public transport in London (and in the bulk of the UK) DOESN'T WORK.

    Provide me with public transport that's cheap, comfortable, fast, reliable, safe AND available when and where I want it and I'll give up my car - but given the current state of public transport generally, never mind in London, NO CHANCE.

    Global warming a problem?

    Air pollution choking you?

    Rising water levels worry you?

    Gridlock threatening?

    Well here's a novel idea. How about INVESTING the tax-payer's money in a decent workable usable public transport system?

    Instead of regulating and restricting London (and the rest of the country) into economic stagnation?

    Put it another way - STOP half-baked attempts at treating the symptoms. Start curing the problem!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    Go Ken!!!

    Cars in general have no place in London, so why not lower that limit to something like 20g/km. SUVs are pointless, especially within London, but so's a lead filled Prius that does 30mpg. Spend your money on a pushbike, scooter, motorbike or public transport instead. Don't be so bl**dy selfish.

    Go Ken!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    For Christ's sake

    You London complainers have NO IDEA how fucking good you have it. You should try getting from A to B by public transport in ANY OTHER British city. It's practicaly impossible. A fiver for unlimited travel in zones 1-3, with a network that actually lets you get where you need to go? People in other cities would bite your hand off, stuck as they are waiting for buses that never come, paying £2.50 to go a mile and a half and then walking the rest of the way because the bus doesn't go anywhere useful.

    You miserable, whinging fools.

  34. Paul Banacks

    Congestion Charge?

    Come on.... Congestion *charge* has always really been Congestion *tax*.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Public Transport Prices..

    Are insane in the UK but they go up for a number of reasons, not least that it's easier (and much more profitable) to put prices up and discourage the use of public transport than to increase capacity.

    This is, I understand, pretty much standard practice on the railways where overcrowding is an issue and I'd guess elsewhere too.

    X years of complete disinterest in upgrading the UK's Victorian public transort infrastructure has crippled the UK. We are staggering along but are close to complete collapse.

    Unfortunately the road networks which have until now taken up the slack are also near or over capacity, especially in urban areas.

    There are no easy answers but the start has to be politicians being able to see beyond the next election (at the moment they cannot even see beyond the next Daily Mail headline) and get a serious, long-term rebuilding plan in place instead of piddling about with congestion charging and suchlike (which is a sticking-plaster at best).

    Above all any plan has to have integration at it's core. It's all well and good things like urban light railways and trams being built around the country but until it is cheap, pleasant to use, integrated with other systems of transport and reliable it's a waste of time and money.

  36. Martin

    The problem with the tube....

    ...is that it's not subsidised - so it's bound to be expensive.

    The major cities in the world have subsidised public transport. That means that it's massively cheaper, but taxes have to be higher to pay for it.

    London and the rest of England has this ridiculous idea that public transport has to be self-funding. So it's too expensive - so people use their cars. Well, duh.

    Just subsidise the damn thing to about 50%, put a reasonable amount of money into repairing and upgrading it, and we'd have a tube system to be proud of.

    Oh, wait - we tried that with the Fare's Fair campaign - and the good burghers of Bromley took the old GLC to court for daring to tax them more to make a decent tube.

  37. Spleen

    Hurrah for Red Ken

    Let's see:

    *policy cobbled together from tabloid headlines - check.

    *a regressive tax posing as a progressive one - the rich will ignore it, the chattering classes will love it, and the genuine working class will get f***ed - check.

    *using gross simplifications that would be tolerated in a pub argument but should never be used to justify government policy shifts ("Chelsea Tractors") - check.

    And Labour *expelled* this guy? I'm surprised they didn't make him Prime Minister. Red Ken indeed - he's the pinnacle of New Labour. His success at spinning himself as some sort of retrograde old-socialist rebel is just that - spin, which makes him even more NeoLab.

  38. gabor

    @Anon

    re: Go Ken!

    My friend, at some point of your life you might be able to get a decent job, a decent place to live, and you'll even be able to afford a car (Not a Rangey or a Cayenne or an X5 or an Aston or a Jag - they'll be long gone by then.You'll be stuck with a Tata)

    Most likely not tomorrow, but you may get there. However, by that time you'll be paying excess penalty for water, electricity, gas, and even sunlight usage, if things go on like this in the UK. The only thing I'm asking is to remember this thread then.

  39. Steve
    Flame

    Diesel?

    Has it occurred to Red Ken that by changing his taxation policies to encourage the use of low-CO2 diesel vehicles he will be vastly increasing the particulate pollution in London? It's already a filthy city, this will make it worse. Not to mention the asthma problems... Sadly his Red Roots are showing: to hell with comfort and health, the people must conform.

  40. micheal
    Pirate

    But how about.....

    I have a 4X4 in london, not that i use it much there, mainly it's because my parents live in a rather inhospitable part of the country that requires a high and 4-wheel drive to get to, also trains dont run saturday or sunday and there's a £60 each way cab from station to 3 miles from their house...no 4X4 cabs so they wont go up the track. I do about 600 miles a month outside London but spend an hour and half getting to work in london...i could drive it in 40 mins but choose a bus instead. After several people being mugged and thrown into the canal, i wont cycle anymore to work. I am charge exempt as I have a blue badge yet still dont use the car unless I really have to...parking, traffic, rose sellers all put me off. Some people do need a vehicle like I have, many alas buy them as they are cheap...a £40k range rover at 5 years old will cost less than a new fiesta..also many of the "youth" drive them as status symbols to their gangs, uninsured i can tell you too. CO2 output is as much mileage orientated as engine efficiency so still tax on fuel is the answer, cant hide from it then can they...also a prius isnt as good as they say....what cost new batteries every 4 years? cost of disposal of the old ones? they seem keen NOT to put that in their siny ad's. Ken has done a GLC again, making his own little kingdom of London.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some of you need to learn to read.

    "...The punitive £25 charge applies to pre-2001 cars and long-cab pickups with three-litre engines or bigger..."

    Not *all* pre-2001 cars have 3litre engines. I know mine doesn't. So if I were to venture inside the Ring of Ken, I'd only have to pay the £8.

  42. Rob

    I to am going to enjoy my focus ST around london

    Well done ford 224kg!!!! yay!

  43. Matt
    Alert

    Being cynical,

    So, obviously, congestion is no longer a problem in London...........

  44. Michael
    Linux

    @ Go Ken

    Even if they turned every street in London into a cycle lane there STILL would be a problem......too many buses. Maybe they should put a £25 charge on these too.

  45. Matthew

    It's actually deviously clever

    We all know it isn't about congestion any more: they gave up that pretence a long time ago.

    The increase is intended to catch the many thousands who have bought old bangers when they worked out this was far cheaper than an annual travel pass even after the £8 per day.

    Now that pre 2001 cars are £25 a day, hey presto, the train fares look better in comparison. (Probably the only way they ever would be made to look good).

    In two years' time, when loads of people have bought little cars that sneak under the current 120g barrier, Ken will move the goalposts again. I wouldn't be surprised to hear he was getting backhanders from the car manufacturers to keep the metal selling, or that he doesn't give a sh1t about the people of London. Maybe it's both?

  46. Nick Drew
    Jobs Horns

    "Nobody needs to damage the environment by driving a gas-guzzling Chelsea tractor in central London"

    Unfortunately, it looks like you missed the rest of the quote from Ken. What he actually said was:

    "Nobody needs to damage the environment by driving a gas-guzzling Chelsea tractor in central London, or by flying himself and 30 mates to an autocratic communist state in South America for a jolly. Oh wait, er... scrap that last bit. Erm... yeah, just stick to the bit about Chelsea tractors. And see if you can get it on the front page of the 'papers, save us having to actually discuss the issues"

    Can we have an evil Ken icon please?

  47. Rob Daglish
    Stop

    @AC - Congestion? Emissions? Duh?

    Who says that 300% increase in house prices is good - all it does is stop us poor chumps who's wages have gone up 2.x% from buying a house, but I suppose you don't really give a rat's ass as you can make even more money by buying the house I would have and renting it to me...

    And before you call me a green whiner, if I'd a patio heater I'd leave it on permanently just to annoy the environmentalists who seem to have missed more than a couple of important points.

  48. glenn

    Ken's having a turkish, only no one is laughing.

    How anyone could possibly need a 4x4 in town is beyond me! Most people don't even need them in rural areas, only those in remote parts of the country and farmers can justify them.

    On the other hand If you are daft enough to still want to live in London and pony up for whatever new and even dafter money grabbing scheme Ken comes up with then good luck :-)

    Why the inhabitants of the capitol put up with such greedy ways is a mystery. Ken bends them over and gives them a right royal stuffing in the name of eco friendliness, meanwhile the expansion of Heathrow continues to bring more and more pollution from aircraft.

    It seems to be okay that pollution will increase from planes because it will be offset with carbon trading (I doubt that Londonners will be allowed the same privilege to offset their gas guzzlers emissions and and thus avoid the daily charge) How will carbon trading will make a difference to the air quality? I understand that it is offset against reductions in emissions elsewhere, but it still doesn't change the fact that the actual air quality in London is still going to be worse, and Ken is still raping for motorists for more and more of their cash.

  49. Andrew Heenan
    Coat

    Too many buses? Um, No.

    "Even if they turned every street in London into a cycle lane there STILL would be a problem......too many buses."

    In the peak hour, one bus takes the place of 69 cars. Buses aren't part of the problem, they are part of the solution.

    Think about it. Go on. Try, at least ;o)

  50. N Silver badge

    so

    Im just about to drive through London in my 4.5 V8 Range Rover (which I hope sends a shudder through the spines of you hemp sandal wearing types)

    So what do I do?

    Pay a fortune to Red Ken?

    No way, the mans a complete arse. I drive around the area creating much more pollution, save my self a fortune and give the money to the oil companies.

    The congestion zone is nothing to do with the environment, its just another tax.

  51. Mark

    Re: London is broken

    Because there's no reason for being in london for a firm apart from willy-waving.

    Move parliament out of london. Sell the buildings/grounds to pay for the new accommodation. This will

    a) increase the land available for new building

    b) decrease the number of people working in london

    c) decrease the expenses of parliament

    d) decrease the expenses of MPs

    e) reduce the willy-waving benefits of being in the "Heart of Britain" (tm)

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Some of you need to learn to read

    " "...The punitive £25 charge applies to pre-2001 cars _and_ long-cab pickups with three-litre engines or bigger..."

    Not *all* pre-2001 cars have 3litre engines. I know mine doesn't. So if I were to venture inside the Ring of Ken, I'd only have to pay the £8."

    The important word in there is "and". You will be charged £25.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blue Badge

    I'm intrigued that somebody who has a blue badge has the option of cycling to work. I have, I know that my disability precludes me from cycling.

    Furthermore knowing the criterion and having had to fill out the forms for the relevant benefits, etc I know that if you can cycle to work, you don't deserve a blue badge.

    As for the rest of that person's whining... well who gives a damn? You and your parents have chosen to live in places and have dislikes (flower sellers, ferchrissakes) that make owning a stinker necessary. Pay for it and stop whining that 99% of the population don't have such ridiculous circumstances.

    BTW, if you are disabled, isn't a high-step vehicle a bit of a bind? Eh?

  54. Martin
    Stop

    @ Andrew Heenan

    "In the peak hour, one bus takes the place of 69 cars."

    If the bus is absolutely full. And is an exceptionally large double-decker, packed with standing passengers. And the cars were to contain the driver only.

    Last time I checked, an ordinary London double-decker holds 59 people. Even in London, where buses are generally fuller than elsewhere, not all buses are full. Many buses are actually completely empty. How many cars go round completely empty?

    Also, the last time I heard, the carbon/pollution advantage of buses was so negligible that, per passenger, a car carrying 2 persons would blow them out of the water every time, and that's without the obvious usability defeciencies of bus transport. Already the most efficient cars would be more energy effecient than buses even if you gave every bus passenger a car each! Anyone who says 'buses are the answer' while they still run on diesel and stop every hundred yards is pissing in the wind.

  55. Michael
    Linux

    @Too many buses? Um, No

    When I USED to live in london, I DID take the bus .... until I found cycling was quicker . THEN i found , when I moved from a 6am start to a 9am start , just how DANGEROUS cycling in london is .... If someone says that a cyclist with a few missing teeth "looks like the back of a bus" , it's PROBABLY for a VERY good reason.

  56. Mark

    @glenn

    Actually, farmers buy clapped out normal cars. Several of them. If one gets stuck, they leave it there and get another.

    There's always the tractor to pull them out, and it's a lot cheaper, too.

    The number of times your 4WD will help you where your cheap 2WD wouldn't isn't all that much.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Learning to read

    " "...The punitive £25 charge applies to pre-2001 cars _and_ long-cab pickups with three-litre engines or bigger..."

    Yes, and while we are on the subject of reading, you can also read it as:

    " "...The punitive £25 charge applies to (pre-2001 cars and long-cab pickups) with three-litre engines or bigger..."

  58. Matt Horrocks
    Dead Vulture

    RE: Some of you need to learn to read

    "...The punitive £25 charge applies to pre-2001 cars and long-cab pickups with three-litre engines or bigger..."

    Could do with someone to clarify if it means:

    (pre-2001 cars) and (long-cab pickups) with 3L+ engines

    or

    (pre-2001 cars) and (long-cab pickups with 3L+ engines)

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Here's a solution

    As discussed on Top Gear - register yourself as a minicab and hey presto! Free Congestion Zone travel. Who-hoo!

    And as for anyone who goes on about "Cityboys" not taking the tube - get the Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf between 7am and 8am at weekdays and you'll find it's completely full of Cityboys. When it's not broken and everyone's piled onto London's favourite Toytown train, the DLR, that is....

    In all seriousness, the Tube is knackered. Even the brand new bits, like the Jubilee Line extension, are hopelessly inadequate. At 6pm every weekday you'll have to wait two or three trains to get on at Canary Wharf, and you've got a reasonable chance (around 1 in 10) of getting a "Severe Delay" eg a 15+ minute wait. Go to any other major European City and they've got double-decker express subways right through the city centre; Paris and Zurich are two great examples. London is only just getting around to planning Crossrail which is 10 years away, at best, and isn't even double decker. The city is screwed and Red Ken is the new Nero.

  60. DR

    confusion

    I think there is some confusion here over whether it's

    The punitive £25 charge applies to (pre-2001 cars and long-cab pickups) with three-litre engines or bigger

    or

    The punitive £25 charge applies to (pre-2001 cars) and (long-cab pickups with three-litre engines or bigger)

    no there are not many pre 2001 cars with three litre engines, but there are plenty of long cab pickups with big engines.

  61. Frank Bough
    Unhappy

    Uh-Oh

    Well, my car is over the £25 limit and I work in London so... I suppose we're about to become a 2 car family! Maybe a nice Honda Civic would fit the bill - I'll have to go and check.

    Has Boris actually said what he proposes to do about the CC when he's elected? I'll bet anyone as much money as they like that he won't abolish it.

  62. Zargof

    Where does the money go?

    Whilst I agree in principle about charging polluting vehicles more, the question I have is where does the money raised from the congestion charge actually go? If it is actually spent on improving public transport or invested in green technologies then great. But if it is spent on subsidising Ken's jollies then I think there is a problem.

    Does anyone have any idea about how the money is spent?

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    "Giving a clear sign that road congestion was no longer an absolute priority"

    surely you mean

    "Giving a clear sign that road congestion was never relevant to Highwayman Ken's tax raising, driver bashing, schemes."

  64. Mark Serlin

    Family cars will be EXTERMINATED

    "Just how many large families, living in central London, short of cash, driving newer than 2001 cars with more than 225g/km emissions are there?"

    Lots. Anyone with a Zafira, for a start. And that is a typical practical family car these days.

  65. Mark

    Re: Family cars will be EXTERMINATED

    You're in LONDON!!!

    What the hell do you need a Zafira for?

    When I were a lad...

    We had a normal saloon car (Vauhall Viva etc) and five kids and two parents. We weren't svelte. We still fitted.

    And most of the time your family won't be IN the car.

  66. Mark

    @Zargof

    A good question.

    Pity people who don't want the charge complain about eco nazis rather than ask about other methods that get the change but aren't a revenue stream. Or, as you did, require that the money be spent on something that will remove the NEED for such a charge.

  67. glenn

    @ Mark

    The farmers must be poorer where you live, where i am in north yorkshire they all seem to manage to own at least one land rover or toyota hi-lux :-)

  68. Andrew Heenan
    Paris Hilton

    In the peak hour, one bus takes the place of 69 cars - FACT!

    Ignoramus said: "If the bus is absolutely full. And is an exceptionally large double-decker, packed with standing passengers. And the cars were to contain the driver only."

    Most peak hour buses carry 80+ people (I know, I've been there). The vast majority of cars carry one person. Look out your window, and you'll see. Few 'zone' buses are single deck, except for 400 bendies; 100+ passengers.

    All London buses (except a very few tourist Routemasters) are less than 10 years old, and pollute much, much, much less than 10 cars, let alone 69.

    But don't let the facts get in your way, will you?

  69. Risky
    Flame

    The press are falling for him again

    Lots of healines about 4x4 and chelsea tractors but of course the net falls far wider. But in particular it's not about congestion.

    If you had a car over the limit you now not only pay £25 per day, but you don't get any resident's discount. Furthermore you still have to pay the charge if you leave it parked legally and unmoved all week. Event if this in in a residents bay that you pay for.

    Now to prove it has nothing to do with congestion lets go and buy a car that gets you in under the 225 limit. I'm going to choose as my little runabout a Mercedes S320 L CDI It's 5.2m long and 2.1m wide, but it's CO2 emissions are just in at 223. Given the car cost from £59k I guess I'll probably live within the zone and get my 90% discount so it's going to cost me only me 80p per day to take up 11 square meters of road space.

    So it's now a green tax. Then why is it limited to Central London? And why isn't it progressive over the bands. As it stands, for residents the tax per week is Nil for 0-120gms £2 for 120-225 and £25 over that. IF you wanted to really have an impact you would have it progressive over the bands.

    In the end the tax is about.....Ken. He want's to be Mayor and if more people have little cars than big ones, he recons there's a vote in it, just like being rude about Jews and his other carry on.

    I commute in now so it doesn't affect me directly but if you still live there, please remember to vote for someone else.

  70. Dan
    Flame

    Finally one I can Argue about

    Right then.

    A) People who say they will stop using there car when there is decent public transport (The cake and Eaters).

    1) New roads are impossible in central London! even with CPO's you would be out laying billions on even the shortest run of demolition. Also, demolishing the buildings people go to so they can get to the buildings that have been demolished.....

    2) LU is at the limit, and needs drastic improvement. BUT simply replacing the Northern line with a decent 4 tube system would be approaching £50 billion (or a year and a half Armed services or a few months NHS iirc) if we started today. Include the protracted planning and consultation period and the cost spiral. The really fun thing about this is the tubs are going to have to be replaced sooner or later.

    3) More cars than a system can handle = traffic. Most people seem to seem to forget this. Traffic = slower buses. Yes buses are part of traffic too, but they are also much more efficient people movers than cars. Bus transport can't really get any quicker unless there are less cars, or more roads (see 1).

    B) People who say the poorer are being taxed off the road. (Grade A Thick People)

    Duh!

    Of cause they are!

    Capitalist society works by there being benefits to the acquisition of wealth.

    The rich have more options on how to do something than the less well off, all the charge does is add an extra grade of affordability.

    C) People who rant about Ken.

    Rant about him all you want it is your democratic right to do so. He has done some idiotic things, and some unpopular things.

    But can you honestly believe Boris would be better.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone have any idea about how the money is spent?

    It's spent on London transport, or at least that was the founding principle of the whole thing.

    Following the disastrous semi-privatisation of the tube, it's probably bailing that out, and of course, chipping in for cross-rail neither of which you'll be able to see.

  72. Luke Silburn

    Clearing The Confusion

    From the GLA website:

    "The highest CO2 emitting cars, which will be charged £25 to drive in the zone are those in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) Band G and equivalent (including cars registered pre 2001 with engines over 3,000 cc). These are the vehicles that emit over 225g of CO2 per kilometre."

    So no, Livingstone hasn't stabbed the banger-driving poor in the back and about 30 seconds of googling would have turned that up, but of course it's so much more *satisfying* to rant isn't it?

    @sundry 'London transport is broken' posts

    In many ways I agree, but you can't blame Livingstone for that - he's only been in post for a few years and London's transportation woes have been decades in the making. When it comes to funding infrastructure renewal his hands are tied by the Treasury, so it's hardly surprising that he's pulling as hard as he is on those levers that *are* available to him.

    @James

    If your commute takes 2+ hours by public transport and only 25 minutes by car then I suggest that you take a taxi until your eye injury is healed.

    Regards

    Luke

  73. Martin
    Unhappy

    @Andrew Heenan

    The name's 'Martn' BTW, not 'Ignoramus'. You could at least not resort to name-calling.

    I am fully aware of the London bus situation, I lived there and used them every day until 18 months ago.

    Do you want some facts? In terms of CO2, a modern London bus pollutes as much as 10 small cars (Volvo B7TL- 1406g/km, Smart ForFour 130g/km), not "much, much less". In terms of hydrocarbons and Nitrous Oxides, a bus pollutes as much as 169 4x4s (same bus 12.16g/km, Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel 0.072g/km). The bus does emit fewer particulates than a diesel car however, due I believe to the use of clever particulate filters in new buses. (All stats from http://www.stopurban4x4s.org.uk/mission.htm).

    You are indeed correct, newer double-deckers carry 71 passengers maximum, bendy-buses 120-odd. As I stated, however, on average passenger numbers are much lower than this. According to the mayors office (http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/environment/climate-change/docs/ccap_fullreport.pdf, page 172) the average bus occupancy is 15 passengers per bus. Put those 15 passengers in Smart ForFours, 2 per car, and CO2 emissions are 69g/km/passenger rather than 93g/km/passenger on the bus. Even putting 2 people in the average London car (173g/km/car, same document) produces less CO2 than them going by bus.

    After all that I do actually concede that in densely-built inner London buses are very important for transport, as just to provide the road network necessary for high levels of car use would be ludicrously expensive and impractical, and trains only excel at longer-distance journeys. Where the pro-bus argument fails is for just about everywhere else in the UK.

    In places like Birmingham (especially in the suburbs), car use has already peaked at just about everybody who is physically capable of driving, doing so. The road network is pretty adequate at coping with this, and the latent demand that many claim would immediately jam any new roads simply doesn't exist. Yet the council are so keen on promoting bus use that they narrow arterial roads with bus lanes, use 'bus bulbs' to prevent traffic passing stopped buses, and generally sabotage the road network. The also mandate increased bus numbers. The result? People STILL do not want to use the bus, the extra buses travel empty, and general road traffic is held up, using more fuel and emitting more pollutants. All to promote a mode of transport that cannot practically be more effecient than cars are now, here.

    If you want to reduce congestion, widen some roads (except in London). If you want to reduce local air pollution, encourage electric and hydrogen vehicles. If you want to reduce CO2 emissions, build some nuclear and renewable power stations, and buy products from effecient local industries rather than ineffecient, coal fired Chinese industries a very long ship journey away. Stop venting your ire at the British motorist- as a whole he is responsible for 0.3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. And anyone who wants to ban patio heaters is clearly on an anti-smoking rampage, rather than being seriously concerned about global warming.

  74. Mark

    @glenn

    Well, Wales isn't all that profitable, but I've heard the same from people living elsewhere. It may be more to do with how many farmers there are: if they own huge ... tracts of land, they'll be raking in the money. And the useless expense of a 4x4 is not wasted because it's more a status symbol (me, I would say ban them unless there's a demonstrated need, affects you whether your're rich or poor and DOESN'T bring in tax revenue which has no replacement when people change their habits: the reason for the tax...).

    There may be a need for one where you're sheep farming and the bastard sheep strand themselves halfway up a mountain, but cabbages can't grow there and aren't known for getting about.

  75. Nick

    Re: Re: Family cars will be EXTERMINATED

    Mark wrote:

    "You're in LONDON!!!

    What the hell do you need a Zafira for?"

    If you want to fit three child seats in the back then you'll need need something that size.

  76. Simon Biles
    Stop

    More bloody tax ...

    Ok, so I pay income tax, road tax, fuel tax, insurance tax and VAT on my car, and because I chose to buy a 4.6 V8 second hand rather than polluting the planet with more production emissions, that has been converted to run on LPG incidentally, but _doesn't_ qualify under the minuscule list that TFL does allow, I now have to pay £25 to drive into London ?? WTF ? How many times does the government get to have a go at my money - something I work for, unlike them ?

    Nah, Sod it. I'm just not going to go any more - I'll run up my miles commuting from where I live to somewhere further away but cheaper instead. It's amazing, any Londoner you ask says that the mas is a twat, yet he still gets votes ... I think it's rigged.

  77. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  78. Stylee

    @Zargof

    As I seem to remember, the majority of the money raised from the congestion charge is spent on running the whole congestion charging setup. As JonB said, what's left is spent on "improving" public transport in London.

  79. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Blah

    @AC with the golf, Richard Porter, Matthew.. others have already said but I would think the £25 charge is for 2001 and older vehicles WITH >=3.0L engine, not all 2001 and older vehicles.

    @Andrew Heenan, "The 15 persons per bus is either fiction (in zones 1-3, anyway), or it's a 24 hour, all of greater London figure. Either way, it's *dishonest* to quote such an irrelevant statistic, when we both know that zone buses are packed to the gills in the peak."

    Not dishonest at all; the bus will pollute full or empty (one question is how much the pollution level varies based on load...) so you can't just claim the bus is efficent full, end of disucssion, if the bus is not full most of the time.

    I must comment, the city I live in has this type of situation. The buses USED to have signs on them that said something like "if it weren't for this bus you'd be behind *30* cars". They had to take them down... the buses on the University campus run full, the other ones even during rush hour will run with like 15 people in them, and I've seen them go by with literally 1-2 people in them (well, 2-3 if you can't the bus driver). It turns out 15 people can't drive 30 cars 8-).

    Living in the states, this won't apply to you but I have 2 comments I wish would happen here:

    1) Better public transport. Locally we have buses and taxis. The buses on the university campus are great, they run at 15 minute intervals and run quite full. The ones off campus.. 1 hour intervals, and per the above they run virtually empty. IMHO they should have smaller buses that can run more frequently. I wouldn't ride the bus knowing I could be stranded for 1 hour if I miss it (it takes maybe 20 minutes to drive across town here.) 15 or even 30 minutes? I could deal with that.

    2) Better cars. I drive a 2000 Buick Regal with a 3.8L V6 right now. (See my note on gallons below*) This car gets about 22MPG city and 36MPG highway (but I got over 40MPG on a recent long trip). My parent's 2000 Deville gets 24 city and 36 highway, with a 4.6L V8. If I get something like a US-spec Honda Civic (with the 4-cylinder, not V6..) it is supposed to get 30MPG city and 43.2 highway. Higher mileage, but not much higher considering the Civic is smaller, and slower (MUCH slower compared to the V8 Caddy I bet).

    The US-Spec cars, the big engines are carefully tuned to try to maximize gas mileage (not so much on SUVs but certainly on cars); small economical engines, they'll drop it in then decide "Ohhh, it needs more power for US use!", change the gearing to power gearing and tune it for power. Result? Why bother. The car still doesn't have the power it would with some bigger engine, while getting almost as low gas mileage.

    One of the few smart things Bush's administration has done was to pass the new fuel economy requirements here upping the CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) from a pathetic 20MPG to 35MPG (in British gallons this goes from 24MPG to 42MPG). I'm a libertarian so I hate regulation**, but the car companies left to their own devices are doing the bare minimum -- most are right at 20.1MPG average (for *cars* -- SUVs are counted separately) and just aren't giving a lot of choices of fuel efficeint vehicles. Some technology will come out that is supposed to increase mileage 10 or 15% -- it does on European-spec cars.. the US model comes out "Oh, hey we increased power 10-15% with the same mileage as the previous model year!" Blah. Now they are finally scrambling to apply this to provide good mileage.

    *Side note. 1 imperial gallon (as used in Britain) is 1.2 US gallons. This is partially why US MPG figures look so bad.. mainly it's because they are bad though. I converted the above numbers to imperial MPG so they'd compare with what others have posted.

    **And also have no one to vote for. The 2-party system here is broken.. if you wonder about the low voter turn out here, that is why.. democrats and republicans don't represent most people here.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who gives a s@@t?

    4 litre TVR (older than 2001),Jeep Grand Cherokee or an Alfa 159.

    That is my fleet - all gotta pay the 25 quid tax - but guess what...... I don't give a damn cos I can afford it.

    OH yeah - I live in London and wouldn't use the tube or buses if I was paid.

  81. gabor
    Alert

    @Mark

    After you and your green types manage to get 4x4 cars are banned, please don't forget to regulate how large of a flat people are allowed to live in (say 15sq feet per person, anything larger just cannot be justified), also ban people from having second bathrooms, then ban larger than necessary backyards, larger than 21 inch TV sets, and the list goes on and on. Ideally it should be regulated how much people can eat on any given day, to protect our environment. Those will be the days, mate.

  82. mivona
    Thumb Down

    Is Ken committing political suicide?

    Bait and switch - follow the money...

    So Ken got us all to support the idea of a congestion charge, to ease congestion in central London, with the assurance that it would impact very little on residents living in the zone.

    He got others, like me, to invest in a duel-fuel car - paying a premium for it, in the belief that it would benefit me financially (for the times I went to central London) as well as benefitting the environment (with cleaner emissions, but still with CO2).

    Now the switch, as residents have to pay full whack "congestion/CO2" charge and my duel-fuel car loses its economic rationale. If all the cars in the congestion charge zone reported in the 2001 Census were used, and charged £8 a day, Ken would raise over £500,000 a DAY. That doesn't include the cars from outside the zone coming in, or the £25 a day that some will be charged. So what is he going to do with all that dosh?

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