Appearing at today’s Mayor’s Question Time Ken Livingstone announced he has asked Transport for London to produce proposals to amend the congestion charging scheme so that it discourages the use of cars producing high levels of carbon emissions, and encourages drivers to switch to cars with low levels of CO2 emissions.
The new pricing regime ould involve discounts for cars with low CO2 emissions but substantially higher charges for cars with high levels of CO2 emissions.
The Mayor said that he’d asked TfL to bring forward plans this September and was hopeful that any new discounts could come into effect from 2008. Higher charges would then be delivered within two years of the introduction of the new discounts.
Mr Livingstone said “the congestion charge has been a huge success in reducing traffic levels and supporting the public transport system through the revenue raised and improvement to bus reliability.
I now want Transport for London to bring forward plans to build on the success of congestion charging to encourage drivers in London to purchase a low emission vehicle. My aim is to see the cutting of carbon emissions and the protection of our environment at the heart of the scheme.”
“I want TfL to look at lower congestion charges for cars responsible for lower than average CO2 emissions, broadly the retention of the current rate of £8 for most cars, and much steeper charges of perhaps £25 for the really environmentally damaging cars such as the so-called ‘Chelsea tractors’.”
The plans will be subjected to extensive public and stakeholder consultation before the could be adopted.