London Mayor Calls for $50 Driving Fee

London Mayor Ken Livingstone wants to increase the central city's congestion charge from $16 a day to $50. Drivers in the city are not too happy about it.

"The new fee, adopted by the mayor after a long consultation with the public, has prompted threats of a lawsuit from Porsche and anger from many London drivers, some of whom have vowed to make it a central issue in the campaign leading to the mayoral election May 1."

"For five years, London has been assessing drivers a daily "congestion charge," now set at $16, to drive into the central city and a large swath around it, a fee designed to tackle the infernal bottlenecks that have turned much of London into a parking lot."

"The program has become a test case for major cities around the world. The New York City Council this week voted for a three-year trial program that would impose an $8 charge on vehicles entering Midtown and Lower Manhattan, a plan that still needs approval from the state Legislature."

"San Francisco has studied imposing a charge as a way of easing central-city traffic jams; cities in Norway and Sweden have also flirted with congestion pricing; and Singapore has been charging downtown drivers since 1975."

"But London's pending carbon dioxide emissions charge goes beyond traffic control and establishes one of the first significant municipal climate change programs in the world."

Full Story: In London, a levy for sins of emission

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