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Business verdict on Mayor’s emissions charge: “a dog’s breakfast”

London First, the influential business organisation representing London’s 300 leading companies, today described the Mayor’s proposals to make thousands of cars exempt from congestion charging as ineffective and a cause of increased congestion in the capital.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:

“The Mayor’s proposals are unlikely to work. Politely, it’s a dog’s breakfast. By letting Fiestas, Puntos and Polos back into Central London for free, the Mayor will encourage more cars back onto our clogged up roads.

“We must reduce emissions but a costly scheme that will have, at best, a minimal effect is not the right solution. By all means, reduce the charge to encourage cleaner cars. But the Mayor must not use taxpayers’ money to increase congestion in the name of climate change.

“Business backed the original charge because it promised to reduce congestion. We aren’t prepared to endorse a naive, green-washed proposal that represents a backwards step.”

London First is pushing for a reduction in the congestion charge rather than full exemption to be offered to low CO2-emitting vehicles. It is arguing that the effect of band A and B vehicles re-entering the congestion zone will worsen over time as more motorists switch to environmentally-friendly cars. Local road pricing schemes must be accelerated across the capital to target traffic jam hotspots.

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Notes to Editors

Transport for London is today closing its public consultation on proposals to introduce emissions related congestion charging

London First is proposing a reduction in the congestion charge rather than full exemption to drivers of band A and B vehicles. To read London First’s proposals in full, click here

London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of 300 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent 26% of London’s GDP.

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