London mayor Ken Livingstone plans to treble the capital’s road toll for the most polluting vehicles – to £25 a day.
The highest Congestion Charge would apply to any car emitting more than 225g/km of CO2, including many 4x4s, people carriers, executive models and sports cars. Currently, cars pay a flat rate of £8 a day.
Transport for London said the new pricing system could be launched as soon as 2008, once public consultation was completed. However, under the new sliding scale system, the top rate of £25 a day would not be launched until 2010.
Under the new plans, the cleanest vehicles would qualify for discounts, based on CO2 emissions. Today, only the cleanest hybrid petrol-electric cars qualify for the exemption.
Livingstone said: 'My aim is to see the cutting of carbon emissions and the protection of our environment is at the heart of the scheme. "Chelsea tractors", many of which are responsible for some of the highest CO2 emissions of any cars on our roads, have to be dealt with.'
The new scheme will apply to next year's expanded Congestion Charge zone. From February 2007, the toll area will stretch westwards as far as Earls Court.
Vehicles that would pay the top £25-a-day charge include the Ford Mondeo 2.5 V6 and a Land Rover Discovery TDV6. If the scheme is approved, drivers entering the zone daily would pay a massive £6500 a year.
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