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Porsche threatens legal challenge to London C-charge hike

Date: 22 February 2008   |   Author:

A new row over Ken Livingstone's "political" scheme to hike the London congestion charge for vehicles over 225g/km has broken out with Porsche threatening legal action if the London Mayor refuses to reconsider his plans.

The prestige carmaker is looking at submitting a judicial review over the Mayor's scheme to charge high-emitting cars £25 per day to drive in London's congestion charge zone.

The latest spat follows criticism of the new scheme from the BVRVA, SMMTR, RMI and RAC Foundation.

Porsche claims the 3025% price increase for residents previously entitled to a 90% reduction on the £8 per day fee is "disproportionate" and will "do nothing to achieve the stated aim of decreasing emissions in central London".

Any London driver with a car emitting more than 225g/km will no longer be eligible for the residents' discount, so will be subject to the full £25 per day charge from 27 October, even if they live in the zone.

"Thousands of car owners driving a huge range of cars will be hit by a disproportionate tax, which is clear will have a very limited effect on CO2 emissions," said Andy Goss, managing director of Porsche Cars GB.

The company branded Livingstone's decision as appearing to be "motivated by politics rather than sensible policy making", and claimed Transport for London itself had admitted that the economy savings will be minimal.

But Livingstone's office blasted back at Porsche, with a spokesman for the Mayor of London claiming the firm's move is an "attack on Londoners".

"Porsche is trying to deprive Londoners of their democratic right to decide in the Mayoral election on 1 May whether they want gas-guzzling and polluting cars to drive in London when there is absolutely no need for them to do so," said the spokesman.

"No-one is allowed to throw their rubbish in the street and Porsche should not be allowed to impose gas-guzzling polluting cars on Londoners who do not want them."