London Mayor Wants $45 Fee From Pollution-Making SUV’s

congestion_charge_taxi.jpgHere is a little something to think about as the fine particulate matter settles deep into your lungs on this lovely Ozone Alert Day. While New York City politely suggests via electronic highway billboard and half-assed p.r. campaigns, that motorists switch to mass transit on days like today, the BBC reports that the Mayor of London wants to reprogram the city’s three-year-old congestion charging system to hit the owners of the most heavily polluting personal vehicles with a whopping £25 fee to drive into the city center (that’s $45!).

Translator’s note: In London, SUV’s are derisively known as "Chelsea Tractors."

Mayor Ken Livingstone has said he wants a sliding scale, with lower charges for low-emission vehicles and higher charges for "Chelsea tractors." The mayor said he wanted to encourage Londoners to buy low-emission cars to help cut carbon emissions and protect the environment.

"There is a growing sense of concern amongst Londoners about climate change caused by CO2 emissions, which is the biggest single problem facing humanity, and tackling this threat requires decisive action.

"’Chelsea tractors’, many of which are responsible for some of the highest CO2 emissions of any cars on our roads, have to be dealt with."

What would you give to hear New York City’s mayor say something like this?

Additionally, Transport for London has released its latest analysis of the city’s congestion charging system, entitled, "Congestion Charging Three Years On: Cleaner Air, Safer Roads and Reduced Congestion."

  • So what do we adopt as our equivalent – “Jersey Tractors” ?

  • Sproule Love

    Great to see this bulletin board up and running! As a vociferous bicycle advocate, I’m all for any measure that makes the city safer, quieter or cleaner: congestion pricing, curbed bike lanes, kicking cars out of the parks…heck, kicking cars out of midtown. As a student of economics, I’m all for congestion pricing that somehow compensates for the regressivity of transportation taxes. With the recent evidence from London, this is such a no-brainer for New York. But it’s sad to say that if a crisis like 9/11 can’t produce any lasting positive change of perspective regarding how we run our city (why didn’t we keep those car pool rules?), I doubt that anything will. I hate to sound pessimistic…can anyone turn me around on this?

  • I can’t wait till we do something like this in NYC.

  • Mattattack

    Our only chance of improving our streets through congestion traffic pricing is Mayor Bloomberg. His legacy is already enormous and we need to ask him if he can leave us with this amazingly effective system of traffic control

  • Pingback: StreetsBlog » Bloomberg on Oil Dependence: Punditry or Policy?()

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