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Diesel and hybrid drivers to pay congestion charges

All diesel, and a majority of hybrid vehicle drivers, will be urged to pay for the congestion charges in the effort to minimise pollution and traffic. London transportation rules are being tightened in order to discourage the motorists from purchasing cars that lets them drive without paying in central London.

This new rule also aims to curb the enthusiasm for cars that run on diesel, which covers one in two car sales, because this type of vehicles emit soot particulates 22 times more than regular petrol cars.

Toyota Prius, a vehicle running on electric engine and petrol, as well as the petrol-powered Fiat 500, and the 2-seater diesel and petrol Smart cars, are just some of the 50 eco-friendly “green” models that will not be exempted from the charges costing £10 anymore.

This move aims to raise an approximated £1 million to  £2 million every year, and will be implemented in July if finally approved by Boris Johnson. This will also help reverse the £60 million revenue slump ever since the discontinuation of the western extension of the zone. In anticipation, however, an outcry has been sparked among concerned drivers and motorists who purposefully bought “green” vehicles in order to avoid being C-charged.

The incumbent president of AA, Edmund King, stated that there are tangible concerns regarding the movement of “green goalposts” after businesses and drivers have invested in diesel cars and low-emission hybrid vehicles. He added that it is high time that a range of environmentally friendlier vehicles are encouraged.

There is an estimated 70,000 motorists in the congestion zone daily, with close to 3000 of this qualifying for the Transport for London’s Greener Vehicle or TLGV discount, primarily because their car’s carbon dioxide emission is only less than 100g per km.

The Transport for London is looking to discard this limit and have it replaced by a more leashed 75 g per km maximum, effectively ruling out diesel and hybrid vehicles that are now running in the streets of London.

The Technical Director for RAC, David Bizley, stated that the 75 g per km limit is beyond the current standards for gasoline or diesel vehicle. An individual would actually need a plug-in hybrid in order to qualify. Starting this July, all Greener Vehicle Discount applications would no longer be accepted, however, drivers who are already registered will still be qualified for exemption well until June of 2015.

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