Steane Klose | Feb 20, 2008

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone has decreed that a daily tax equivalent to around $AUD46 will be levied against all fuel-guzzling vehicles entering his city as well as any that are not considered emissions efficient. The new tax will come into effect from October.

Mayor Livingstone will then reinvest the proceeds from this tax into a bicycle plan for the city. We’re not sure exactly what he is trying to achieve here. CO2 reduction…maybe, but any realist will understand that the benefit will be negligible and that a better target would be industry, if large CO2 reductions are the goal.

Maybe he is hoping it will ease congestion? Although you’d think it unlikely that people will be swapping cars for bikes, aside from those that live within a short ride of London or a convenient train station and don’t mind spending half the year riding in sleet, snow and generally unpleasant weather.

Bikes are a form of transport that should be encouraged but they are hardly a practical option for the majority of commuters, and they are not the answer to the World’s supposed CO2 woes.

So, that leaves us with the fact that it is just another tax, wrapped in a nice ‘green initiative’ wrapper and slapped on the poor sods who already pay a premium to drive anyway. It will be an enormous money spinner and what will happen with the money once a bicycle plan has been implemented?

Which makes this a tale about yet another politician who would be more suited to selling used cars or door to door insurance, than managing one of the World’s great cities.

Porsche are not happy about it either with Andy Goss, the Managing Director of Porsche Cars GB claiming that it will have a very limited effect on CO2 emissions. In fact, Porsche are planning on writing to Mayor Livingstone to express their concern at the new tax and request that it is reconsidered – failing which, they will take the issue to court and let a judge decide

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