Emission Reduction or Money-Raising Scheme?

Ken Livingstone’s arbitrary introduction of a CO2 based charge for driving in the old Congestion Charging zone, will be futile in terms of reducing greenhouse emissions although it will raise significant sums presumably to help fill the hole in the finances of the 2012 Olympics.

That’s the view of the BVRLA. Director General, John Lewis, said, “Livingstone stills thinks it’s fine to pollute provided you pay for it – and many will. As far as I can see this merely makes it a money raising exercise masquerading as an emission reduction scheme. And worse, were this even to work, it is based purely upon CO2. What about the other emissions that make air quality in London among the worst in the UK? What about particulates and nitrogen and sulphur oxides? And this scheme does not affect taxis many of which, if not most, fall into the higher polluting category. If the Mayor was really serious about doing something to help Londoners and the capital’s many visitors, then he should take radical action to improve air quality, not pay lip service to it and reap the cash dividend for his pet projects.

“So, if he really wanted to reduce carbon output, then he should ban all cars in Central London during the day. That would seem to meet the objective of not only reducing London’s carbon footprint but it would also eradicate congestion giving buses and those polluting taxis a vastly freer run.

“But of course, he’s never going to do that. There’s no money to be made out of it and apart from anything else, hitting the gross polluting cars – the so-called Chelsea tractors and the like – will probably prove to be a bit of a vote winner – and isn’t there a Mayoral election coming up in May?”

14 February 2008 Staff

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