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C-charge hike for most polluting cars

Date: 14 November 2006

The political heat is again being turned up on drivers of the most polluting vehicles, with the announcement of a massive London congestion charge hike for vehicles in the top 'G' road fund licence band.

From 2009, vehicles emitting more than 225g/km of CO2 will be charged £25 per day to enter the zone, which will by then be extended courtesy of next February's westward move into Kensington and Chelsea.

Vehicles emitting less than 120g/km of CO2 will be exempt from the charge.

"Most vehicles that will be charged £25, in Vehicle Excise Duty Band G, are high-priced models. Those who buy them can afford to choose from pretty much the whole of the mainstream car market but have chosen to buy one of the most polluting vehicles," said London mayor Ken Livingstone.

Critics have slammed the move, claiming it proves Livingstone's motives have always been revenue-raising, rather than congestion-reducing.

In a separate development aimed at addressing what many see as the bigger pollution problem, Livingstone announced a consultation by Transport for London into the proposed London low-emission zone, aimed at reducing emissions from busses, lorries and heavier vans. The zone could go live as soon as February 2008, potentially extended to cover light goods vehicles and minibuses in 2010. For more information on the LEZ, go to