Development Crossing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

Porsche Challenges London's £25 Congestion Charge

London mayor Ken Livingstone's plans for a £25 congestion charge from drivers of high powered sports cars and 4x4s entering the capital has drawn a great deal of criticism from owners of such vehicles. However, we haven't seen much action from the car makers whose sales will potentially be affected by the move...until this week. Porsche is threatening a legal challenge to the plans, which will raise the congestion charge for some cars to £25 from £8, that's about $50 for those of you living in the US. Porsche says that the increase for certain cars is "disproportionate" and the rise will do nothing to achieve the stated aim of decreasing emissions.

"Not only is this rise completely unfair to many drivers, but it will also damage London-based businesses of all sizes, and successful people from across the world will start to think twice about basing themselves here if they think they are going to be used as cash cows for City Hall," said Andy Goss, managing director of Porsche Cars GB. Porsche has said it will be writing to the mayor this week, and if he doesn't respond within 14 days, the carmaker will submit its application for judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Some argue that the congestion charge is a ridiculous amount to pay for driving in the city and is nothing but another tax that will have a very limited impact on improving the environment. If an owner of an SUV drives short trips in and out of the city to work, wouldn't that person generate less pollution and emissions than someone driving a more eco-friendly car all day around the city? Do you think the congestion charge is a good thing for the environment or simply a tax plan to generate more money for the government?

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Comment by Sally McNeal on February 20, 2008 at 4:49am
As much as I love the environment, and all things "green," I do have to agree that charging people £25 for driving in the city is a bit ridiculous. As you asked, surely their overall environmental impact depends on the amount of time they spend driving around the city, and not on the simple fact that they drive bigger cars. Having said that, I did read somewhere recently that the congestion charge has reduced traffic in the city, since people don't want to pay £8 or $25, so that is a good thing, but punishing the people with the bigger cars I guess isn't fair...but what is? :)
Comment by Dan Johnson on February 22, 2008 at 5:55am
I agree with the concept but 50 dollars is a bit steep. I think if you have the choice to easily take public transportation then that is fair, but for people who really have no other way to get into the city, their should be some exception / less money. Just my thoughts.

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