Congestion Charge exemptions – your say
Volvo recently told us that the London Congestion Charge exemption system is allowing high-CO2 cars to escape the tax, while low-polluting, conventionally-powered vehicles are forced to pay.
As a result, Volvo believes that the concession for hybrids should be withdrawn altogether. We asked for your views and here is a selection of the responses we've received so far.
I wasn't sure where to put my opinion because I haven't got a hybrid car or don't want more exemptions. I just want to point out that this is a congestion charge not a CO2 charge, so surely everyone should pay? If all cars became electric overnight then no one would pay and the streets would quickly become gridlocked because there would be no incentive to use public transport. This would lead to lines of empty buses pumping out polluting diesel fumes – which doesn't sound all that green to me.
I do not think it makes sense that hybrid cars with higher emissions are given London Congestion Charge exemption when there are conventional cars with a less damaging environmental impact. Perhaps a Congestion Charge exemption could be introduced based on emissions rather than technology. I would love to see more hybrid cars on the roads and have such technology encouraged, but I'd rather have lower emissions.
I would disagree with any cars being granted an exemption to the Congestion Charge, whether hybrid, or petrol-, diesel-, paraffin- or hydrogen-powered. Put simply, the charge was introduced as a charge to reduce congestion – not emissions. However low the emissions of a vehicle are, it is still a box covering approximately 14' x 6' 6" on the road, therefore it is causing congestion. Less pollution in some cases maybe, but congestion nonetheless. If TfL wishes to rebrand it as a tax on carbon emissions then yes, I'm all for that, but marketing it as something it is not only serves to make the public more cynical of such charges.
I think the whole idea is terrible. I would deface my numberplate to make it unreadable before I would drive into London. An ex-Londoner and never going back.