Boris scraps £25 C-charge

New London mayor Boris Johnson has scrapped a £25-a-day congestion charge for the most polluting vehicles.

The scheme, introduced by former mayor Ken Livingstone in a bid to reduce air pollution from vehicle emissions in central London, would also have removed the congestion charge for the cleanest vehicles from this autumn.

It means Transport for London, which is funded by taxpayers, will now have to pay the legal costs run up by Porsche, which earlier this year launched a legal challenge against the charge.

The car manufacturer has said it will donate the money – expected to be a six-figure sum – to youth charity Skidz.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “My commitment to making the congestion charge fairer and more effective for Londoners is well known.

“And I am delighted that we have been able to scrap the £25 charge, which would have hit families and small businesses hardest.

“I believe the proposal would actually have made congestion worse by allowing thousands of small cars in for free.”

Andy Goss, managing director of Porsche Cars Great Britain, said, “We were always confident that our legal case was right and that we would win in the end.

“The charge was clearly unfair and was actually going to increase emissions in London. Porsche is proud to have played a decisive role in striking down such a blatantly political tax increase targeting motorists.”

If the scheme had come into force, drivers of Band G vehicles would have seen the daily congestion charge rise to £25 from October, while drivers of Band A and B vehicles would no longer have had to pay for entering central London.

The Mayor said scrapping the charge would save about £10m in costs to set up the scheme.

An Ipsos-Mori poll conducted earlier this year found 61% of Londonders supported the £25 charge.

The London Low Emission Zone, which aims to reduce harmful emissions from the largest diesel-engined vehicles like lorries, buses and coaches, is unaffected.

Kate Martin

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie