"Chelsea tractors" face daily $50 charge in London


Ken Livingston, London's mayor, says he's has had enough of what he calls, "Chelsea tractors." That's what we Yanks call an SUV, and Livingston thinks its time their owners pay for the damage he says they're causing to the environment. Chelsea, by the way, is a rather tony neighborhood of London known for extravagant living including large SUVs.

"The highest CO2-emitting cars -- like some of the so-called Chelsea tractors, high-powered sports cars and luxury executive cars -- can produce twice as much carbon dioxide as the kind of car driven by the average Londoner," the Livingston said in a story by The Chicago Tribune.

The plan proposed by London's controversial mayor is to charge owners of these less-than-thrifty vehicles $50 a day to drive them within London's congestion zone. Already all drivers in that area pay a $16-per-day fee, but residents living in the zone get a 90% discount. But SUV drivers would not be given any discount and would have to pay the full $50 fee, regardless.

The original $16 fee has cut London traffic by 20% and emissions by 15%, officials say. The newly proposed fee might be enough to reduce pollution even further. The Tribune's story quotes one SUV driver who said a $50 fee would be enough for him to move his SUV to his rural Scottish estate and drive a more economical car while staying at his Chelsea residence.

[Source: The Chicago Tribune]

More Information