Angie Bray AM, London Assembly Member for West Central (Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster).

"Ever since figures first begun to show a rise in Congestion levels inside the Congestion Charge zone and particularly recently when the first small but discernible increase in charge-paying vehicles entering the zone occurred, Mr. Livingstone has been thinking how to re-invent his Congestion Charge scheme in order to justify keeping it on.  So we now have a new green Mark 2 version and rather incoherent it turns out to be.

His plan is to hammer VED Band G vehicles with a daily £25 charge – and no more discount for those living inside the zone which will leave everyone else there worrying who will lose their discount next. Meanwhile cars in Bands A and B will be exempt.  I have never supported this particular scheme but, given its justification is that controlling car numbers is the way to control congestion, it does seem a strangely contradictory move.

Meanwhile his green economics aren’t exactly impressive either.  The new scheme doesn’t add up.  For an annual average running cost of £2 million plus costs to drivers of anywhere between £3 and £13 million per annum, the maximum CO2 saved would be 8,200 tonnes.  This equates to 0.17% of the 4.9 million tonnes emitted by cars and motorcycles in London every year.  The carbon trade value of this tonnage would be a maximum of £110,700.

Yet again this is grand-standing about the environment more than anything else, something that Mr. Livingstone is rather good at.  Let’s hope the consultation on this Mark 2 version actually forces him to stop and think but no-one should hold their breath."

10 comments for: Angie Bray AM: Now that we know the congestion charge isn’t reducing congestion, Livingstone is using green arguments for his Mark 2 version

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