The man who brought the congestion charge to London England has lost his bid for re-election as Mayor of England's capital. Ken Livingstone has always been a controversial figure in British politics but his tenure as mayor of London brought that controversy to new heights. In the course of his eight years at the helm, Livingstone introduced the congestion charge that requires drivers to pay a toll of £8 (about $16) per day to drive into a zone of central London. During the local elections held across much of England in recent days, Livingstone lost his bid for a third term to Conservative party MP Boris Johnson.
The congestion charge was originally pushed as a means of discouraging people from driving into the crowded central area of the city. However, recent studies have indicated that in spite of the fee, traffic has actually gotten worse in London. More recently, Livingstone has moved to expand the congestion zone and change the fee structure to make it based carbon dioxide emissions of the car. As a result cars that emit less than 120g/km of CO2 would have been exempt from the charge while the thirstiest vehicles would have seen the fee rise to as much as £25 per day. Johnson, the new mayor is opposed to this emissions-based fee and promises to scrap the plan and possibly even rescind the expansion of the congestion zone that occurred in 2007. So it looks like while other cities will proceed with emissions based congestion charges, the city that pioneered the idea may be taking a step back.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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