Congestion Charge Converts to Carbon Charge

18 February 2008

In a radical new move to combat climate change, London Mayor Ken Livingstone has modified the congestion charge – first instituted in 2003 to reduce the volume of traffic on London’s streets – to become the world’s first anti-pollution vehicle tax, where users are charge ffor the amount of CO2 they emit.  Gas guzzling 4 x 4s will pay up to £25 instead of the current £8 charge, whilst economical vehicles will pay lower charges and some low-emission cars will pay nothing at all.  Most normal vehicles will continue to pay the £8 charge.

This is intended as an incentive to replace vehicles with more economical ones.  Even 4 x 4 lovers can use still them, and will escape the penalty if they choose the most economical vehicles in their class.
The change is expected to take effect from Oct. 27th 2008.

Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "Nobody needs to damage the environment by driving a Chelsea tractor in London."


This is a groundbreaking step which will be watched by the rest of the world.  If this succeeds in reducing pollution, then other towns and cities may well follow suit. The current congestion charge has reduced traffic in the central London area by 21 percent compared to pre-charge levels. The extra £30-50 million raised by the change is going to be directed towards public transport improvements.

Photo credit Pelamis Wave Power


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