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Ken's 212% C-charge hike slammed

Date: 15 November 2006

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has hit out at London mayor Ken Livingstone's plan for a massive congestion charge hike for larger-engined vehicles.

The SMMT has compiled a list of ten family cars that will be hit by the new charge for models emitting more than 225g/km of CO2, including 2.0-litre versions of the Vauxhall Zafira, Renault Espace and Seat Alhambra, and larger-engined versions of the Peugeot 407, Honda Accord and Ford Mondeo estates.

"You might have read that Ken's latest wheeze is all about taxing 4x4s, but the truth is very different," said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan.

"Families that need people carriers and estate cars, but who already pay the penalty through higher road tax and fuel costs, are set to be hit by the mayor's triple whammy.

"In his war against the affluent, he seems content to ignore this collateral damage".

Driver road safety group Safespeed also criticised the increase.

"The congestion charge has made millions, scared away trade and increased pollution, but it has not reduced congestion," said Safespeed founder Paul Smith.

The increased charge is likely to become active around 2009, depending on how soon Transport for London is able to get its technology linked to the DVLA system that will tell it which models should be charged and at which level.

Vehicles emitting less than 120g/km will be exempt from the current £8 per day fee for driving into central London.