Gas-Guzzlers Will Cost Londoners $50 a Day

Mayor's move sparks outrage, applause
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 3, 2008 11:39 AM CDT
Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, right, listens to the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone as they travel on a hybrid double-decker bus on their way to City Hall, London, Monday, Oct. 1, 2007.    (AP Photo/Sang Tan, Pool)
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(Newser) – In a move to make drivers of gas-guzzlers “pay for the environmental damage they cause,” London’s mayor is imposing a CO2 charge: beginning in October, every private vehicle driven in the central city that doesn’t meet tough emissions standards will cost its owners $50 a day, the Los Angeles Times reports. The new charge comes on top of the existing $16 congestion charge.

Under the new plan, congestion pricing, which has cut the number of cars in the area by 70,000 and pushed mass transit ridership up 36%, would be suspended for the most fuel efficient cars. Not surprisingly, the aggressive campaign against guzzlers, which Mayor Ken Livingstone likes to call "Chelsea tractors,"  has sparked a backlash, with some Londoners vowing to unseat him in May’s election. And Porsche has moved to sue, citing the charge an "illegal abuse of power," Reuters reports.