Emissions-based congestion charging in the capital 12 Feb 2008

COMMENT FROM THE RAC FOUNDATION ON THE LONDON EMMISSION BASED CONGESTION CHARGE ANNOUNCEMENT

Commenting on today’s (12) announcement for an emission based congestion charge for London Sheila Rainger, Acting Director for the RAC Foundation, said;

“The congestion charge was originally developed to reduce congestion. Changing this will confuse the public and reduce support and trust for future initiatives. Motorists are not able to change their vehicles overnight and people change their cars less often in London than the rest of the UK. The discount for smaller vehicles may encourage a few families to purchase them as second cars but a small car isn't a realistic choice for everyone.

Ken's proposals will increase congestion and do very little to cut CO2 in London - the real polluters are the old bangers kept on the road by motorists who can't afford to change them. This is gesture politics rather than a serious attempt to tackle London's air quality problems.

If the mayor cannot be dissuaded from introducing an emissions based-charge we would like to see a fairer, graded system, which follows national Vehicle Excise Duty banding. We believe a £0, £6, £8, £12 approach is worth investigating, as it would encourage people to choose the "best in class" rather than assuming that small is beautiful.”

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