Porsche Points to Study: Congestion Charging Increases CO2

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz

Porsche's battle against London's car-hating Mayor, Ken Livingstone, continues. PistonHeads reports that Porsche now claims a study by London's own government transit authority, Transport for London, shows congestion charging would increase greater London's CO2 levels by 182k tons by 2012. The argument is simple: if people can't go in straight lines through London, they'll be driving longer routes around the congestion zone. More driving, more CO2. The reduction of CO2 in central, congestion-charged London would be only 2200 tons– a tiny fraction compared to what happens in the surrounding areas. Meanwhile and in any case, Porsche is getting maximum PR benefit from the fight. Everytime someone reads about Porsche pouring millions of pounds into this legal struggle, they create David and Goliath associations. Sure, the greens share Livingston's anger. But they're not buying Porsches anyway.

Justin Berkowitz
Justin Berkowitz

Immensely bored law student. I've also got 3 dogs.

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  • Johnster Johnster on Apr 09, 2008

    It's not clear to me that Porsche has a point. If someone actually drove around London (using the bypass to avoid the congestion charge), although they might be driving a greater distance than if they drove straight through, wouldn't they also be avoiding the congestion of London and all the time sitting mired in traffic, idling at traffic lights or slowly driving along at 5 mph or so, all the while wasting petrol. I would think that many motorists would get better gas mileage (and emit less CO2), and maybe even save some time by driving around London, even if it means driving more miles. Of course it does increase the traffic on the bypass and throught the bypass suburbs.

  • Matthew Potena Matthew Potena on Apr 09, 2008

    This whole "congestion charge" nonsense should be stamped out before it spreads. If Red Ken really wants to be rid of cars, then be a man and ban them. Unfortunately for His Honor, he knows that this will fly as well as pigs with wings, so he is slowly making the automobile unattractive to Londoners. I believe there is an election shortly, and it would not surprise me if Mr. Livingstone is removed. Good riddance!

  • Martin Schwoerer Martin Schwoerer on Apr 10, 2008

    Is Porsche desperate or what? What kind of an argument are they using here? That people should traverse London to save CO2? Instead of doing what people do anyway -- circumnavigate the center? On the one hand, Porsche likes to imply that CO2 is not the most important issue (and I agree). On the other hand, Porsche is saying that saving CO2 is more important than noise and particulate emissions when it comes to London. Lousy PR.

  • Nichjs Nichjs on Apr 10, 2008

    1. congestion charge removes local pollution, and puts it where there are arguably fewer pedestrians. shaky case, but arguable. 2. Less traffic in the city centre = faster public transport routes = good. The centre is the fastest way through, so make space for the double deckers, which often have standing room only. As I said on the last CC blog, public transport rules over cars in London. This is antithesis to most US cities, especially Detroit.