Double congestion charge for 'Chelsea tanks'

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has proposed that four-wheel drive vehicles pay twice as much in congestion charges in a bid to crack down on Londoners using 'Chelsea tanks' for school runs and shopping.

Drivers of gas-guzzling four-by-fours should pay £10 because their vehicles create much higher levels of air pollution and are more likely to injure or kill pedestrians, according to Mr Livingstone. He said: "They are not a sensible car for use in a dense and congested city".

The mayor has requested that Transport for London examine the legalities of doubling the charge, and hopes to have a consultation on the matter with stakeholders early next year.

The proposal follows a recent report published by the Liberal Democrats stating that four-by-four emissions were very damaging to the environment, and made up 15% of all cars bought in the capital.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary Norman Baker, who recently published a report stating taxation and regulation changes should be made to reflect damage caused by four-wheel drives, said: "There are significant safety and environmental issues associated with the use of these vehicles in urban areas. They pollute more, are more dangerous for other road users and take up too much space."

By Jane Kettle



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