The church of the Lost Cause

While it’s not likely to produce any sort of result, it is nice to see that someone has the guts to poke toady little lying tinpot dictator mayor of London, Ken Livingston, in the eye – at least a little bit.

Having introduced the Rich Peoples’s Charter to allow those with deep pockets and expense accounts to drive into London centre by introducing a so-called Congestion Charge, he’s now hiking the price AND changing the name in order to restrict travel in the central area of the capital to even richer people.

The congestion charge was initially introduced in February 2003 and covered just central London, with the daily charge set at £5.

Since then the charge has gone up to £8 a day and a western extension, incorporating such areas as Kensington and Chelsea, has been added.

Claiming that it’s completely fair as it applies the principle of ‘The Polluter Pays’ the congestion charge will be revamped to operate on a pollution basis:

  • The £25 charge will apply to vehicles emitting more than 225 grams of CO2/km (g/km), as well as those registered before March 2001 which have engines larger than 3,000cc
  • Those vehicles getting a 100% discount will emit less than 120g/km.
  • Of cars currently being driven in the congestion charging zone, 17% would be liable for the £25 charge and just 2% for the total discount

Luxury carmaker Porsche is to challenge plans to increase London’s congestion charge to £25-a-day for some vehicles.

The firm said it intended to ask for a judicial review into the price changes, which come into force in October. Porsche says the new rules, which affect the highest polluting vehicles, are “disproportionate” and will not decrease emissions in central London. Porsche will write to the mayor’s office informing him of their intention to seek a judicial review. If it does not receive a satisfactory response, it will apply to the courts for an order to quash the new charge.

Of course, you just have to run up a quick review of the annual numbers of Porsche cars sold in the UK, and compare it to the number of Ford, Vauxhall, Toyota, Nissan and the like to see that Porsche are flooding the roads with their cars, and are almost completely responsible for all the pollution being generated on the roads today.

Aye, right (as we say in Scotland).

Ken Livingston’s thought processes on pollution and congestion are about as relevant to doing something useful about them as plate of chips I’m eating just now are to solving world hunger.

The perverse thing about his logic is that it probably does what it is supposed to, but not for the reasons he and his publicity machine keep trumpeting.

In reality, the rich continue to drive their gas-guzzlers around the city, noting the charge as little more than another line entry on their clients expenses, while the punters that can’t afford to live in the capital (or even buy a house in the surrounding area) are forced out by yet another “London Weighting” cost that means they can no longer afford to drive from the places where they can afford to live, and this means that thousands of ‘little polluter’ driving little Fords and little old (pre-clean burn engines) are forced off the road, and don’t pollute.

Still, since the owners are probably out of a job too, if they could afford to buy the fuel with the wages they no longer have, they could be going out for a drive in the country, as they’ll have lots of spare time since they’re unemployed.

Thanks Ken.

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