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£25-a-day London congestion charge is go

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£25-a-day London congestion charge is go

The Mayor of London’s office has just confirmed changes to the city’s congestion charge that will sting owners of cars emitting more than 225g/km of carbon dioxide to the tune of £25-a-day.The new congestion charge will come into force on October 27 2008. It is described by the London authority as “the world’s most ambitious scheme to reduce the contribution of urban traffic to greenhouse gasses”, and “a key part of the Mayor’s Climate Change Action Plan which aims to reduce London’s CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2025.”Although suggestions had been made to the contrary, Mayor Ken Livingstone has been true to his word and will provide a 100 per cent discount to the charge for cars than emit less than 120g/km of CO2, and are EuroIV-emissions compliant. That means owners of the likes of the Mini Cooper D, VW Polo Bluemotion and Ford Fiesta TDCi, as well, as those of the Toyota Prius and Smart Fortwo, will be able to drive through London for free.According to TfL statistics, 17 per cent of the cars that currently enter the charging zone are in VED tax band G, and will qualify for the £25 charge. Just 2 per cent using the zone are in tax bands A and B, and will therefore go free – but that figure is sure to rise once the changes come into effect.If you drive a car registered before September 2001 with an engine bigger than 3000cc, you’ll also be subject to £25-a-day. Rather arbitrarily, that means if you drive a W-reg BMW M Coupe (which is a low, four-meter car, and therefore not a big contributor to congestion) you’ll have to pay £25-a-day, but a diesel-engined Range Rover of the same age would get in for just £8.In justifying the change, Livingstone said: “nobody needs to damage the environment by driving a gas guzzling Chelsea Tractor in central London. The CO2 charge will encourage people to switch to cleaner vehicles, or public transport.”“Those who choose to carry on driving the most polluting vehicles will help to pay for the environmental damage they cause. This is the “polluter pays” principal.”

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