Controversial new congestion charge of up to £25 per day announced. Cars like the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX400h may no longer be exempt.
EMISSIONS INFLUENCED CHARGING (EIC)
The Mayor of London has announced that he would like to take forward the policy of reducing London’s Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by introducing Emissions Influenced Charging to the London Congestion Charging Scheme. The Mayor is very concerned about the major challenge of climate change and these proposals aim to discourage the use of the most polluting cars and influence car purchasing behaviour.
The proposed Congestion Charging bands are as follows:
Cars which emit up to 120g/km CO2 and are Euro IV (Equivalent to VED Bands A & B) - 100% discount.
Cars which emit 121-225g/km CO2 (Equivalent to VED Bands C – F) - Standard Charge £8.00.
Cars which emit more than 225g/km CO2 (Equivalent to the VED Band G) - £25.00.
This would mean that cars with very low levels of CO2 emissions would pay nothing whilst those with very high levels would pay much more, at £25.00, than the standard £8.00 charge. The above ranges reflect the latest Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) bands. Although Band G was only introduced in March 2006 many cars registered before then have emissions levels above 225g/km and so would also be considered to be subject to the higher charge.
Details of Euro Standards (limits for certain tailpipe emissions) and VED Bands for cars registered on or after 1 March 2001 and currently on the market in the UK are available on the Vehicle Certification Agency’s website. It is also suggested that the 100% discount for the least polluting cars (Bands A & B meeting Euro IV) would be introduced in 2008, with the higher charges for cars emitting in excess of 225g/km of CO2 to commence subsequently. Customers with cars that are eligible for the discount would not receive it automatically but would need to register their car with Transport for London (TfL). These proposals would replace the existing Congestion Charging Alternative Fuel Discount.
Residents with cars in Bands C - F would continue to pay the discounted rate of 90% and residents with cars in Bands A & B (which meet Euro IV) would be entitled to a 100% discount.
It is proposed that the Residents’ Discount would be withdrawn for those residents continuing to use the highest polluting Band G equivalent cars. The interaction with other discounts is under review. TfL intends consulting with the public and stakeholders on detailed proposals later in 2007, when much more detail will be made available.