London Mayor Ken Livingstone is again pushing to revise the current congestion charges that drivers going into central London have to pay. Currently anyone going into the congestion zone has to pay a fee of £8 per day. Under Livingstone's plan the flat rate would change to a sliding scale based on the vehicle's carbon dioxide emissions. Annual vehicle registration fees are already based on part on those emissions with each vehicle being placed into various tax bands.

The new rate plan would charge £25 per day for vehicles in band G which is for all vehicles that emit over 225g/km of CO2. Vehicles in bands A and B which emit less than 120g/km such as the Smart ForTwo diesel and VW Polo Bluemotion would get in free of charge. Although in general the principal of charging more to the drivers of the heaviest emitting vehicles seem perfectly reasonable, AA Motoring Trust does have a point about larger families that need to use larger vehicles like vans being penalized unfairly. If there were a reasonable way of charging vehicles based on the number of passengers in addition to the emissions of the vehicle that would be the way to go. If someone has a van and a group of five or six people are car pooling, that is clearly more beneficial overall than all of those people driving their own Smart or Polo.

[Source: Times of London]

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