London Imposes $50 Guzzler Fee on SUVs and Lux Roadsters

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London Mayor Ken Livingstone is on a tear. Yesterday he announced a £500 million investment in new bicycling infrastructure. Today, he approved a plan to charge the drivers of SUVs, high powered sports cars and other large engine, high emission vehicles a £25 fee ($48.75!) to drive into Central London's congestion charging zone. Simultaneously, low emission vehicles will become exempt from paying the charge. In a press release, Livingstone said,

The CO2 charge will encourage people to switch to cleaner vehicles or public transport and ensure that those who choose to carry on driving the most polluting vehicles help pay for the environmental damage they cause. This is the "polluter pays" principle. At the same time, the 100 per cent discount we are introducing for the lowest CO2 emitting vehicles will give drivers in London an incentive to use the least polluting cars available.

BBC News has more:

The new charges come into force on 27 October this year.

Transport for London (TfL) estimates about 33,000 vehicles that will now fall into the £25 charge sector drive into London each day.

It predicts about two-thirds of these will no longer come into the charge zone once the new fee is introduced.

London's transport commissioner, Peter Hendy, said the new charges were likely to bring in £30m to £50m a year, with most of this money going on new cycling and walking initiatives...

...The National Alliance Against Tolls said: "This move is not based on logic but on the whipping up of prejudices against those who use these particular vehicles."

Photo: Bennet Summers / Flickr.