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London congestion plan under fire

13 August 2007

  • Whatcar.com readers hit out
  • 77% against proposals
  • Fears that congestion could increase

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Motorists have hit out at plans to base London's congestion charge on carbon dioxide emissions.

Under Transport for London's plans, which are now open for public consultation, the highest-emitting vehicles will be charged £25 a day to enter the congestion charge zone rather than the current £8, while the lowest-emitting vehicles will be free.

But 77% of respondents to a whatcar.com poll said that the proposals were wrong, with many people pointing out the scheme could lead to more people buying low-emission cars and causing more congestion within the zone.

Just 23% of respondents were in favour of the proposals, backing London mayor Ken Livingstone's stance.

Reader comments
Despite being on the edge of the City, EC1 is a very poor area with 70% of the population living in social housing. The average income of social housing tenants is less than £10,000 per year.

Importantly, the entire EC1 area lies within the congestion charge zone, and so the resident discount is very important to many of the families in the area.

The removal of the resident discount would cause great hardship to many low-income families that require larger vehicles and who cannot afford to upgrade to a similarly sized vehicle emitting less than 225g/km of carbon dioxide.

Those families would be forced to sell their vehicles, because they simply cannot afford to pay £25 per day just to drive to the shops.

The withdrawal of the 90% residents discount for Band G cars is just evil.
Owen Hart

I agree with the proposal as long as it is only for cars that emit over 225g/km carbon dioxide, and not based on the type of car. I drive a Toyota RAV4, which emits 224g/km, but I do not want to be penalised just because it is a 4x4.
Gary Home

If it supposed to be a congestion charge, then no vehicles should be exempt, including hybrids and electric cars. If they are not worried about congestion but instead about ways to reduce pollution, then it might be understandable.
Andrew Webster

In order to reduce the number of cars on the road, you increase the charge for all vehicles, not just the most polluting ones.

Theoretically, surely five electric vehicles which are exempt from the charge cause more congestion than one large 4x4?
Andreas Georghiades

The proposals are very sensible. Get rid of overweight, overpriced and over-indulgent 4x4s.
Mairwen Friar

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