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London mayor slaps £25 charge on gas guzzlers

Drivers of high-powered sports cars and 4x4s will be hit by a new £25 charge every time they enter central London The term Central London refers to the districts of London which are considered closest to the centre. There is no such conventional definition, nor any official one, for the entire area that can be called "central London".  under plans to reduce congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.

congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity.
 and cut pollution across the capital.

London mayor Ken Livingstone Kenneth Robert Livingstone (born June 17, 1945) is a British politician who became Mayor of London on the creation of the post in 2000.

He was previously Leader of the Greater London Council from 1981 until it was abolished in 1986.
 said today that around 30,000 of the worst-polluting vehicles would face a threefold price rise from October, while the most environmentally-friendly cars would be able enter the congestion charging zone free of charge.

"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," Livingstone said.

"This is the polluter pays principle The Polluter Pays Principle is a principle in international environmental law where the polluting party pays for the damage done to the natural environment. It is regarded as a regional custom because of the strong support it has received in most Organisation for Economic . At the same time, the 100% discount for the lowest CO2 emitting vehicles will give drivers an incentive to use the least polluting cars available."

Livingstone said the new charge was part of a package of measures, including the introduction of a clean air zone and a £500m investment in walking and cycling, that would help London reduce its CO2 emissions by 60% by 2025.

However, motoring organisations and political opponents said the plans would penalise Verb 1. penalise - impose a penalty on; inflict punishment on; "The students were penalized for showing up late for class"; "we had to punish the dog for soiling the floor again"
penalize, punish
 motorists without reducing pollution.

Liberal Democrat Liberal Democrat

a member or supporter of the Liberal Democrats, a British centrist political party that advocates proportional representation

Liberal Democrat n (BRIT) →
 mayoral candidate Brian Paddick Brian Leonard Paddick (born 24 April 1958) was, until his retirement in May 2007, Deputy Assistant Commissioner in London's Metropolitan Police Service and the United Kingdom's most senior openly gay police officer.  said: "Rich people with gas guzzlers will continue to pay the congestion charge congestion charge congestion nCity-Maut f

congestion charge npedaggio da pagare per poter circolare in automobile nel centro di alcune città, introdotto per la prima volta a
 even at £25. Yet hard-working families with people carriers who cannot afford to change their car or pay the charge will lose out."

He said Vehicle Excise Duty In the United Kingdom, Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) (often known as road tax, although it is not hypothecated for spending on roads, and before 1936 as road fund licence) is an annual tax on the use of motor vehicles on the public roads.  for the worst-polluting cars should be increased and pressure put on manufacturers to meet emissions targets.

Tory mayoral candidate Boris Johnson Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (born 19 June 1964, New York City)[2] is a British Conservative Party politician, journalist and former editor of The Spectator.  described Livingstone's plans as an "old-style tax the motorist" policy.

He said: "Londoners use their cars because of the appalling state of the transport system. A big car tax won't change that. We need better alternatives to get out of our cars - especially those who live in the outer boroughs with bigger families, many of whom can't afford to swap cars."

About 150,000 cars enter the congestion zone in central London each day, of which 30,000 will fall under the new pollution charge. The mayor says he expects a 30% drop in the number of these vehicles, with the revenue - predicted to be between £30m and £50m a year - helping to pay for radical improvements to cycling and walking facilities announced earlier this week.

"I have every sympathy with a Scottish hill farmer who needs his 4x4 to get around," said Livingstone. "But there is absolutely no justification for cars producing high amounts of pollution being driven in central London."

Green campaigners welcomed the move. Tony Juniper Tony Juniper (born 24 September 1960) is a British environmental campaigner, author and journalist most recognised for his work as Executive Director of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. , from Friends of the Earth said: "Charging gas-guzzling vehicles more to drive in central London is extremely welcome, and supported by most Londoners. We are delighted that Mr Livingstone is taking a lead on this issue."

The congestion charge was introduced in February 2003 when the daily charge was set at £5. Since then it has gone up to £8 a day and a western extension, incorporating Kensington and Chelsea Kensington and Chelsea, inner borough (1991 pop. 127,600) of Greater London, SE England. Kensington is largely residential with fashionable shopping streets and several luxurious hotels. Portobello Road is a well-known street market. , has been added.

According to the mayor's transport advisers, the charge has resulted in 70,000 fewer cars coming into the capital each day. Today Livingstone said 71% of Londoners were in favour of the new £25 pollution charge.

The Green party's mayoral candidate, Sian Berry, who has been a long-time advocate of the scheme, said she was delighted with the new charge.

"We look forward to seeing these measures finally doing something positive to reduce dirty, wasteful, unnecessarily large 4x4s and other highly-polluting cars from our streets."

But critics warned that allowing the cleanest cars into the zone for free could see a rise in the number of people driving into central London, leading to an increase in congestion.

Sheila Rainger, acting director for the RAC Foundation, said: "Ken's proposals will increase congestion and do very little to cut CO2 in London - the real polluters are the old bangers kept on the road by motorists who can't afford to change them. This is gesture politics rather than a serious attempt to tackle London's air quality problems."

Livingstone said all the indications suggested there would be no increase in congestion, adding: "This is a flexible scheme and both the charges and exemptions may be varied in the future to ensure the twin goals of tackling traffic congestion and combating climate change are both achieved."
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Date:Feb 12, 2008
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