London SUV Drivers to Pay 6,500 Annual "Congestion Charge"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The Daily Mail reports that London's Congestion Charge (CC) is quickly morphing into a pollution tax. Mayor "Red" Ken Livingston is set to modify The City's congestion fees, levying up to £6,500 a year on drivers living within the charging zone who helm larger (i.e. more CO2-emitting) vehicles. Visitors to central London piloting SUVs, minivans or full-size luxury cars will be hit with a £25 a day fee. Mr. Livingston, a man known to keep taxis waiting for hours at taxpayer's expense, has little sympathy for people who "can afford to choose from pretty much the whole of the mainstream car market but have chosen to buy one of the most polluting vehicles." More surprisingly, The Mail says that after a 33 percent decline in traffic levels, the congestion charge now only accounts for eight percent traffic reduction compared to pre-CC levels.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Yasth Yasth on Aug 06, 2007

    Ummm in economist terms that traffic reduction has rebounded just means they should charge more. This is one way to do so while still allowing a way out for poorer families. Which while it is economically unbalanced probably is not enough to alter efficiencies of the system.

  • BostonTeaParty BostonTeaParty on Aug 06, 2007

    I hope he's looking at the public transport he loves too, Taxis were one of the worst offenders for pollution, the buses were terrible too never minding how many people they had on board. Livingstone, hypocritical as usual. Should be an interesting London Mayor race especially if he extends his CC zone as he plans too. Correct me if i'm wrong but once you could own a 110 Land Rover Defender in the Station Wagon guise that was exempt from CC charge as it was classed as a minibus?!! Sales of the vehicle duely increased.

  • London Kev London Kev on Aug 11, 2007

    Contrary to your comment that the Mayor is “a man known to keep taxis waiting for hours at taxpayer's expense” he is a daily user of public transport and travels to and from work on the tube each day. You can find some pictures here: The Mayor only uses taxis when time constraints or other factors make it necessary and his taxi bill continues to fall year on year. The Mayor is also committed to making the capitals taxis more sustainable. Have a look here: and here:

  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Aug 11, 2007

    While I'm happy to hear Mr. Livingstone's taxi bill "continues to fall," let's be clear about this: it had a LONG way to fall. In '00, Livingstone spent £6000 pounds on taxis. In 2002, it was £5500. In 2003, it was £3000. In 2004, Ken's taxi bill still cost London taxpayers £1,033. Are you suggesting this reduction represents an attitude of personal responsibility, rather political reality?