Boris’ Bigger Burden Causes Congestion Charge Consternation

Posted: July 29, 2014 by tallbloke in Accountability, atmosphere, Big Brother, Carbon cycle, general circulation, government, People power, Robber Barons, Travel

From 2020 drivers of all but the most efficient diesel cars and older petrol cars will be charged an additional £10 a day to use the London roads they already pay road tax and a ‘congestion charge’ to travel on. Boris Johnson is bringing in the new levy in response to EU pressure to further reduce emissions. The unelected EU commission launched legal proceedings against Britain in February.


Elsewhere, Labour is planning a network of low-emission zones that would force older diesel vehicles out of many cities. Sheffield, Leicester, Bradford, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and 14 other cities are considering bringing in the zones to cope with poor air quality.

The area will have the same boundaries as the Congestion Charge zone, and only diesel vehicles that meet the stringent Euro 6 emissions standard will be exempt from the charge. The threat of heavy fines for breaches of air pollution rules, set by the unelected European Commission, have driven the new initiatives to cut diesel use.

Petrol cars registered before 2006 will also have to pay.

Where’s the evidence that traffic emissions are so harmful? Vehicle use has massively increased since WW2 and life expectancy has massively increased too. This looks like a hefty tax on daily life and a way to force people to spend big on a new car. There is a huge glut of unsold new cars sat on disused airfields worldwide at the moment. Are we seeing the effect of behind closed doors lobbying of the EU commissars?

I suspect that lung cancer rates aren’t falling with the drop in cigarette smoking and vehicle emission diesel particulates are going to get the blame next.

  1. oldbrew says:

    The UK car licensing system was switched in the 90s to a system of lower costs for diesel private cars than petrol ones, and cities are paying the price now.

    Asthma rates are increasing and particulates are getting some of the blame, but the biggest source of particulates is road dust – diesels just add to it.

    Washing the streets with sticky stuff was tried:

    ‘Boris Johnson accused of hiding London air pollution’

    Berlin already has similar diesel restrictions.

  2. Joe Public says:

    London’s Congestion Charge Zone is a relatively small area, whose residents and workers already suffer from very poor air quality. Their plight is exacerbated by the UK’s highest concentration per sq. mile of diesel taxis and buses. There are few places to park anyway, not least because of the cost.

  3. And “yet”, one finds that restrictions on vehicle types by emissions has no measurable effect on air quality in e.g. German cities.

    One can only draw one of two conclusions; that those imposing the restrictions have no idea that the measures to improve air quality are ineffective; or that the objective isn’t air quality improvement at all; but the exclusion of certain people. Either way, those imposing those restrictions should be taken to a place where they no longer have the power to impose their will on other people.

  4. J Martin says:

    I think that a significant part of central city air pollution is caused by taxis, buses and other vehicles that seem to have to not to comply with the rules that most of the peoples cars have to comply with. So making the clean vehicles cleaner won’t improve the situation. They need to force the black cabs, buses and lorries to comply with modern emmissins standards.

  5. Brian H says:

    Regulation first. Proof later. Oops!