back to article Porsche to challenge London CO2 penalty in court

Prestige/performance car maker Porsche is to challenge London Mayor Ken Livingstone's punitive £25-a-day "gas guzzler" traffic-charge, to be levied on cars with high CO2 emissions. The car firm will seek a judicial review of the mayor's policy. "A massive congestion charge increase is quite simply unjust," Porsche's UK boss …

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  1. Gordon

    reintroduce the 914?

    I can see why they're pissed. This is going to crucify their UK sales. Maybe if they built more lightweight, efficient cars and didn't concentrate on 80s style heavyweight sports cars they'd be in a better position to meet this challenge in places other than the courts? I doubt there is anything stopping you taking a Lotus Elise into London - with a little work (smaller, more efficient engine) it might even get into the lower bracket! Maybe deal 'ole Porker need to think in terms of this being similar to the fuel-crisis of the late 70s, when they built cars like the 914 with lightweight materials, modest engines, reasonable performance and good economy? The trouble there is that London has "gone first", and there isn't a big enough market to support a special model just for the UK, let alone one just for London.

    Personally I'd rather see The Major fixing public transport (tube, rail, buses etc) than attempting to torture everyone into using the substandard, dirty, irregular, uncomfortable system we have now regardless of how bad it is. But that would require hard work, imagination, determination and money and wouldn't be terribly glamourous. This is easy, obvious, hi-tech, zietgiesty and will make cash out of people who cannot change their cars due to outstanding finance or the need for a big motor.

  2. Robert Hill

    Hah - 4x4s with turbodiesels rule!

    Once and for all, let's stop screaming about 4x4s and the environment - even under Red Ken's ruinous rules, 4x4s with turbodiesels (which is the engine that most real 4x4 off-road users want anyway) can be shown to be eco friendly. Or at least no worse than the majority of other cars.

    My 2005 Land Rover Discovery turbodiesel had decent CO2 emissions, and gave me a combined, measured 27 mpg in mixed highway / city driving. In what is admittedly a 4000 lb square box with permanent 4 wheel drive. It "only" got to 60 mph in 10.8 seconds, and while it would happily cruise at 90 mph on the M1 motorway, it really couldn't break 100 except downhill. But my point being, 0-6 in under 11 seconds is all you really need anyway, and we all have to admit that no one should be breaking 95 on the M1 anyway.

    It's not about 4x4s, it's about asshats that feel the need to put stomping huge V8 petrol engines in them, even though they are among the worst engines to actually take offroad. For those people, may I suggest an Audi S6 estate?

    I got rid of the Disco when I changed jobs, and have waited to buy anything because of these new rules. Now I can safely look to the Freelander turbodiesel, and know that I have avoided the congestion charge madness of the £25 band...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Filthy evil taxis !!

    of course even the most recent london taxi ( the LTI TX4) has co2 emissions of 233 g/km in automatic form. So why is it exempt from the £25 Charge ?????

  4. Jamie
    Linux

    Livingstons Lies

    Good 'ol Kenny keeps saying he brought this in to reduce congestion, now it is pollution. If he really means that and it is not a way to get extra funds to finance his trips to exotic places then he should stick the money raised from the year in a bank account. Then the next year use the money to hire police specifically to target those areas affected by the congestion zone to get illegal drivers and cars off the roads.

    If he really does care about the London public then go to Gordon and request that this special branch be given powers that allow them to confiscate cars from people without a valid license, no insurance, no tax and then auction them off, with the money then going back into the police or to different beautifying projects.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lame excuse

    "... This includes a lot of vehicles not normally seen as evil, for instance, often bought by parents with more than two children owing to the increasingly strict seat-safety rules. ..."

    I'm always surprised with how people can come up with lame excuses to justify their desire to buy big cars. You can easily fit two and more kids in any mid-class car without giving up on the seat-safety.

  6. Karl Lattimer

    "which clearly will have a very limited effect on CO2 emissions"

    as we've recently seen, people with porches etc... generally can't afford to pay their insurance, never mind the CO2 charge. So the fact of the matter is that these people will either be so stuck with their gas guzzlers that they'll bankrupt themselves, or they'll change their behavior to save their money.

    I know I'd rather drive a small car and not pay a charge, maybe I'm just smarter than people who drive porches... not difficult I admit :)

  7. Dominic Tristram
    Thumb Down

    Pah

    If you can not only afford a Porsche but also drive it into central London every day, 25 quid is nothing to you. I hope this gets laughed out of court. I have misgivings about people forcing their pollution upon us as it is, but they could at least have the decency of paying up.

  8. Phill Holland

    Posh

    If you can afford a porsche, you could surely either afford the charge, or too buy a car with a smaller engine size (probably defeating the point of buying the porsche in the first place).

    However, a two door sports car designed to be as light as possible perhaps shouldn't be classed in the same league as a heavy 4x4.

    I'm not sure what the point of driving a sports car into essentially a large car park is anyway. I'd be too scared about somebody hitting it, every car I've seen in london has some sort of dent in it.

  9. Andy
    Paris Hilton

    Go fast?

    Just how fast can your Porsche go in a crowded London street?

    Why have a six liter engine capable of enough acceleration to rip your eyeballs down your throat when you'll have to stop just a few yards later.

    We get prats over here in big 4x4 trucks. I see housewives driving 4x4 vehicles capable of climbing huge gradients, overcoming great big rocks, and jumping with ease over canyons and whatnot. They're being used to do the shopping and collect the kids from schools. And not a scratch on the expensive bodywork of this very capable off-road mechanical marvel. No mud, no scratches, no dents. Bloody thing has never had a sniff of the countryside let alone been driven up an embankment that requires raised suspension, 4x4 drive, and locked bloody differentials.

    Besides I'm not rich enough to afford a Porsche so I'm all in favour of making those bastards suffer.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Fuck 'em

    If they can afford a Porsche, they can no doubt afford the tax. Half of them are probably tax dodgers anyway.

  11. Anton Ivanov
    Coat

    Porshe owners should pay even more

    The charge should be normalised versus seat carrying capacity. Actually so should be the taxes and excise.

    This will decrease the taxes and fees for cars like the Zafira while still keeping them in the right bracket for the owners of erectile disfunction compensators like the Carrera or the Cayman. Same for other Chelsea tractor owners.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure this will make a massive difference

    Last time I checked, all the private cars in the UK were collectively responsible for 0.3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. What percentage of the 0.3% is represented by >225g/km cars entering central London, I wonder??

  13. David Evans
    Thumb Down

    Peel off the green paint...

    ...and you'll find Ken's true red colours underneath. This has nothing to do with congestion, nothing to do with emissions and everything to do with his class hatred. Porsche, symbol of Ken's 80's yuppie nemesis, is exactly what he wants to target. Its also why he extended the zone west into affluent Kensington & Chelsea and not into areas with worse congestion (like south and east).

    There's already emissions charges for cars, the road fund licence and fuel duty; and it disgusts me that this martinet can pull this kind of stunt unilaterally. And I know his supporters will say "vote him out" but unfortunately all those millions who work, but don't live in London, don't get a vote do they?

  14. Iain
    Unhappy

    That extra revenue...

    ...should be ring-fenced for public transport and environmental projects. I would be happy to use the TFL systm if it was a) reliable and b) as cheap (per mile for eg) as driving.

    I quite happily buzz around in a '05 1.9 TDI Seat Ibiza doing combined 46mpg (which still out-performs johnny 4x4 doing 0-60 in 9.8secs with a top speed of 130ish and costs only a fifth of the price). Using the latest figures for average diesel price that comes to 10.9p per mile.

    To drive from Uxbridge to Camden (my usual commute of 18 miles) it costs me £1.96. To do the equivalent journey on the Tube costs £4 (or £3.50 on Oyster). What financial incentive is there for me to get the Tube, which probably takes 1 hour longer, and is often closed/delayed?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    What's the difference between a hedgehog and a Porsche

    Well there's no congestion charge for driving a hedgehog, oh and the pricks are on the outside of the hedgehog.

    Efros

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    £25, no thanks

    I wouldnt even TAKE £25 from Ken to visit London, nevermind give him £25.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The biggest problem

    with the introduction of this fee is that it is largely unannounced. So there will certainly be people badly hit by the additional 365x£25 annual fee for owning a car, to the extent of them having problems with paying it. If it was announced as an "in five years" plan, then people would have the chance to adopt. As it is, expect a lot of cheap mid-range people-carriers on the market.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Gordon

    "Personally I'd rather see The Major fixing public transport (tube, rail, buses etc) than attempting to torture everyone into using the substandard, dirty, irregular, uncomfortable system we have now regardless of how bad it is."

    Well, I've been around a little, and so far, the public transportation system in London are among the best, quickest, cleanest in large cities in Europe, as well as comparatively affordable. If you want a laugh, try public transportation in, say, Hamburg, Germany or for a real hoot, Marseille. If you want to get stuck halfway to the railway station with the next bus dropping by at four the next morning, try Luebeck, Germany.

  19. Bryce Prewitt
    Stop

    @ Peel off the green paint

    Yes, and isn't it apparent that by reading all the comments here (and elsewhere on the internet) that there's an entire generation of fucking belligerent retards that will do anything and everything in their power to legislate that which they don't like out of existence?

    Class hatred doesn't even begin to describe this self-important phenomenon. I'd like to personally hang all these twats up and read them the riot act. I hate Americans about as much as anyone but Noel Gallagher's right, the British are the biggest cry-babies in the whole wide world. We're never happy with anything, ever.

    Oh well, in twenty years it'll all come back around and a newer, younger, more self-important generation will start blowing it in the old crusties' faces. Once you start down this slippery slope it only gets worse.

    Or maybe the younger generation will be smart and realize that tolerance is the best policy? Nah...

  20. Steve

    Re: Robert Hill

    The answer is for greenpeace or some other bunch of hippies to cover random 4x4's in the street with cow sh**. If they drive in conditions that justify a 4x4, its unlikely that the owner will be fussed. If not, there will of course be plenty of publicity.

  21. Peter Hawkins
    Paris Hilton

    @Robert Hill Diesels Pollute more

    Funny how all the oil burner drivers whine on about CO2 emissions as if they were the only pollutant. In a city environment by far the most dangerous emissions to people are PM10's and soot, emitted by guess what - diesels. You only have to watch some moron in TDi flooring it away from the lights and you'd swear the thing was running on house coal from the smoke. That's also why my air-con automatically switches to re-circulate after a couple of mins behind a diesel.

    When diesels are as clean as petrol cars, i.e. active catalytic converters and soot filters, then you can lecture petrol drivers on the environment. Until then, as I drive round behind your stinking hulk, my petrol car is actually cleaning up after you.

    Paris, because she knows all about emissions.

  22. adnim Silver badge

    Not enough

    Any car over 2.0 litres £30.

    Any 4x4 £60.

    It should cost £2000 a year to tax any private vehicle over 2.0 litres.

    It should cost £5000 a year to tax a 4x4 unless one is a farmer.

    In fact I would like to see 4x4's banned from our roads.

    Flame away.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Rubbish

    If this revenue generating scam is about pollution, why doesn't it get taxed at source and added to the price of the fuel [1]? It will be UK wide as an added bonus and there is virtually no escape from it.

    [1] What do you mean they taxed the fuel as much as they could get away with it?

  24. Matthew
    Flame

    Rubbish

    Ken is up to rubbish again. I think that improving public transport and freezing fares is a great idea, but it's being sold with a ton of top-spin.

    If he was concerned with emissions, he'd expand the zone east over the most heavily polluted parts of London.

    If it looks like a tax and smells like a tax, it's just Ken lining his budgets. Why the man needs his own newspaper, I don't know.

  25. Peter D'Hoye
    Thumb Up

    @David Evans

    Yup, that is how it works, because it is the people who _live_ there that suffer the pollution.

  26. Mike Tree
    Unhappy

    seats!

    I think it is daft that in a cogestion charge zone, a car carrying 8 people (Like my Toyota Estima) will be taxed the same as a 2 seater which probably only has one person in it 99% of the time..

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Lame Excuse

    As a father of 4 month old twins I can assure you that it is impossible to fit them, and the stuff that you need to take with them when you go out, into a "mid-class car".

    Our "mid-class" car (BMW 3 series) had to go the minute we bought our buggy and was swapped for a Renault Scenic belonging to the in-laws. Even this is too small but, as we are leaving the country to get away from all the communists like Ken who have taken over, we are making do by not taking the babies out of the flat very often and, when we do, taking 2 cars!

    A friend of mine who has 4 kids also can't get them, and his wife, into a "mid-class car" as these generally only seat 5. And with the booster seat laws etc you can't really use the middle seat anyway, So they also need a rather large car for them and the buggies, equipment etc that goes along with having a family (and before we get the replies of "their fault for having a large family and it being their choice; the 4 kids are 2 sets of twins so it isn't exactly their fault).

    So if the choice is between a big car or two then I think the big car is more congestion and CO2 friendly!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    RE: Lame excuse

    "You can easily fit two and more kids in any mid-class car without giving up on the seat-safety."

    I'd like to see you fit more than 2 adults and 2 child seats in ANY mid-sized car.

    I have a Laguna (classed as a large family car) and you can't do it with that.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Porsche owners

    I'm becoming increasingly glad I don't live in the UK - it appears that as a filthy rich owner of a $2000 1984 Porsche 944, which gets something around 35mpg, I would be charged fifty bucks a *DAY* to own a car in London? *FIFTY*?

    I like Britain and all, but man... you guys really *are* bonkers. And the "only filthy rich own Porsches" thing is total bull - there are rafts of 928s, 944s, 968s, even 911s that are a few years old and will run far less than any given new Toyota.

  30. Alex Johnson

    Jealousy

    Let's separate out the jealousy from the issue. The jealousy is just pathetic - and don't kid yourselves, that's what it is.

    Andy Goss is quite right: there are a couple of issues here. First, Ken is conflating congestion and climate change. Not to be pedantic, but CO2 is NOT a pollutant. It's a part of our atmosphere. Any car with a catalytic converter prodocuses water and carbon dioxide as exhaust gasses. That's just about it, and that's why if you want to top yourself ina agarage, you have to find an old banger with no catalytic converter. That climate change is a serious issue, I don't doubt, but why is this in the hands of the grubby little mayor? It's like when he starts having diplomatic relations with other countries - oh I forgot, he already does that. Get on with running London, not with running a parallel government. Is being mayor of one of the world's greatest cities not a big enough job for you Ken? And, as we know, he is planning to increase the numbers of vehicles which will be extempt. Hang on, how does that help *congestion*? Isn't that what we voted for? If we are going to be concerned about greenhouse gasses, let's be worried things worth worrying about, like all you people who eat red meat; like balancing China's desire for growth (good) with the power they will be consuming to get there (not so good); like making alternatives like solar more economically viable. And let's do this by getting people on side, not alienating them for really no quantifiable gain or purpose whatsoever.

    Second, this is classic - if ham-fisted - attempt to divide and rule, and as a Londoner it stinks. It stinks that Ken gambles a whole class of people were never going to vote for him anyway, and that they are therefore in a position to be victimised and piloroed as he mugs away to those he thinks will vote for him. I don't want to seem hopelessly naive, but no one should applaud that, whatever you think of 4x4's and Porsches.

    In short, this is tokenistic nonsense, and politics of the cheapest kind.

  31. Jon
    Thumb Up

    under 121, not 120

    "emitting less than 120 grammes of CO2 per kilometre "

    close, it's free for cars in the VED A and B bands which means it's for cars emitting less than 121g of CO2/Kilometre

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Admit it, you're glad it's not you

    You drive a typical 170gms / km car, get a 90% residents discount, so pay 80 pence a day. Somebody who bought a 4x4 long ago pre 2001, long before climate change was on the agenda, pays 25 quid. 31 times more.

    They emit 1.5 times the CO2 per km, yet pay 31 times the charge. They even pay extra for the fuel. Now they have to find the money to replace that car too, and will have to sell on that car outside of London. They're paying for your sins and your damn glad they've been singled out not you.

    But don't worry, your time will come.

    Sooner or later you'll be in the group that faces the punitive punishment. Sooner or later you'll be taking one for the rest of us.

    As for fixing climate change, where does he imagine these cars will go?

  33. Chris Long

    "I'm just smarter than people who drive porches..."

    Pffft. You've probably got one of those new hybrid verandahs instead, I assume? Personally, I plan to buy a fully-electric balcony as soon as they're available. And don't got me started on those twats driving massive roof-top gardens around central London.

  34. Mike Lovell
    Flame

    No tax!

    How about some incentives, rather than just tax-smacking.

    If they gave you a big discount on alternative fuel cars and also made sure that by 20xx, x% of garages would have to provide this fuel. Might just help.

    But of course it has little to do with the environment, and a lot to do with raising tax from the moral high ground.

    Also on the subject of public transport I know many a person verbally abused or threatened on the London transport networks (I hear the buses are the worst). Any police about?

  35. Chris Long

    And another thing

    Whatever you think about the appropriateness of this measure, it's clearly disengenuous to claim that "it's fair because of the polluter pays principle". This charge is specifically about charging people with big-engined vehicles a *disproportionate* amount, as a punitive / controlling measure. Nothing to do with fairness or egalitarianism. Someone with a 4.0 litre car already pays more fuel duty per mile, in direct proportion to the amount of fuel they use. That's perfectly fair, but hasn't resulted in the outcome the politicians want, so they simply change the rules.

    Bah.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Thickies

    Drivers of these big cars in London (as in any urban area) must be a bit thick, quite frankly.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I don't give a S***t

    cos I will just claim the extra cost in expenses so the tax man will lose out in the long run. I can afford the extra anyway.

    Think I will go and buy a hummer to go with my 4 litre gas guzzling high emission two seater sports car and use them on alternate days.

    BLX to KEN

    Paris cos like me she can afford the chump change.

  38. Alex Johnson

    @Peter D'Hoye

    What pollution? This isn't about diesel particulate, this isn't about SO2 or carbon monoxide, this isn't about lead. All of which might be somewhat valid. This is about tax and politics, but let's for one second pretend that it is about CO2, a colourless odourless non-toxic gas making up around 4% of what you exhale. Most of us aren't choking to death from our own breath, and nor are the plants which depend on it to live. This isn't even about noise pollution as an idling taxi or bus, or a motorbike, will blow away any of these vehicles in terms of noise.

    So, you're left with CO2 as a source of climate change. Fine - but I think you'll find that doesn't respect the dotted line on Ken's map, and more to the point, nor do the emissions from power generation and third world growth.

    You may not like 4x4's or Porsche's, but their mere exisence in London isn't harming you in any measurable way. Unless of course you get run over by one, but I think you'll find an eco-fiendly bus could finish you off even more efficiently.

  39. Frank Bough
    Thumb Down

    Arsehole

    "I got rid of the Disco when I changed jobs, and have waited to buy anything because of these new rules. Now I can safely look to the Freelander turbodiesel, and know that I have avoided the congestion charge madness of the £25 band..."

    Doesn't driving around in a pretend truck make you feel like a total cock?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Weird economics

    "To drive from Uxbridge to Camden (my usual commute of 18 miles) it costs me £1.96."

    What are you on, a pedal cycle? Cars cost MUCH more than just their petrol to run them.

    The motoring magazines give the cost per mile of most cars and from memory they're mostly in the 30 to 50p per mile range -- and even that doesn't include insurance (because it varies too much from person to person).

    So your comparison price should be £6 to £9 and you'll find that's way more than the maximum daily oyster card or the daily share of a season ticket -- either of which would cover you for the return journey as well as the outward.

  41. randomtask

    @ Anonymous Coward

    "Well, I've been around a little, and so far, the public transportation system in London are among the best, quickest, cleanest in large cities in Europe, as well as comparatively affordable. If you want a laugh, try public transportation in, say, Hamburg, Germany or for a real hoot, Marseille. If you want to get stuck halfway to the railway station with the next bus dropping by at four the next morning, try Luebeck, Germany"

    Remember that London is the Capital city so its unfair to compare it with regional hubs. Compare it with other Capitals and you will find the public transport system in london lacking. It costs a bloody fortune for one! In Paris you can get from A (anywhere in paris) to B (anywhere else in paris) for €1.50 and its fast, efficient and clean!

  42. Frank Bough
    Unhappy

    More Ranting Insight

    "Any car over 2.0 litres £30.

    Any 4x4 £60.

    It should cost £2000 a year to tax any private vehicle over 2.0 litres.

    It should cost £5000 a year to tax a 4x4 unless one is a farmer.

    In fact I would like to see 4x4's banned from our roads."

    Yes but WHY?

  43. Fenton

    Kick em while they are already down

    This isn't really going to hit those with the top end of the car market. Yes they probably could afford £25 a day. Then again they may just go out any buy another car that doesn't cost, thus adding to congestion even further as the Gas guzzler will be parked up in London.

    The people this is going to hit are those who got a fairly sensible car over the last few years, i'm talking a Saab 93 2l, an Astra 2l, an Audi A4 V6, even a VW Sharan 2l (all these cars are in Group G)

    Why do people buy these cars? To travel in relative comfort over long distances for work and play.

    They are already being hit by increases fuel costs, Car tax costs, etc, etc.

    Now they are being hit by this TAX on relative success.

    So now they have to waste even more money in trying to change car.

    Here's another statistic. If you took your G-Wiz car and put an equivalent powered Petrol engine in it, rather than battery the CO2 emmisions would be even less than the stated 65g/KM (even that figure is bogus as it is calculated completly differently to a normal car). Why because your local power station is less efficient than a car engine. Plus the G-Wiz weighs so much because of all the batteries

  44. Andy

    "I'm just smarter than people who drive porches..."

    Sweet sweet irony.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pedestrianise the lot

    How many people *need* to drive in central london? With no private cars on the road, the busses would run fantastically and cycling would be a joy.

    Just let the cabs, busses and delivery drivers in and some sort of mass park and ride for people who live in the zone and want to keep a car for sojourns out of the city.

  46. Jason Harvey

    Just glad I'm in the states

    cause my, soon to be antique (24 years or older vehicle), 1985 Pontiac would not even come close to passing under any line that has been drawn up here. It barely passes the grandfathered emissions tests here in Texas. Hopefully this next test will pass cleaner since it's got a new catalytic and numerous parts replaced and tuned up, but I won't keep my hopes up.

    Global warming is good anyhow... it'll make the frozen north/south a tropical paradise. Start buying up the permafrost land now folks, in 50 years it'll be prime for resale!

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @If you can afford a porsche

    Even as a long time Reg reader, I'm still occasionally astonished by the purely reactionary comments in these sections.

    How many of you who blurted out "If you can afford a porsche..." have any idea how little various models of Porche actually cost? Not as much a you might think. Owning a well built and reliable car with a decent motorway speed is usually the point of buying one, but there are a lot of people commenting here who seem to think its all about bling and the 0-60 numbers.

    @Lame Excuse - what a crock of shit mate. My missus is a child minder, and she can fit *three* kids in a tiny Vauxhall Agila, along with all the junk you need to deal with a bunch kids out doors. If you can't get 2 in a mid sized car, you're doing something very wrong.

    @4x4s - I think its becoming quite clear that the crowd of people going on about how bad these are have as big a problem as the anti-porche crowd. Just because a vehicle has a 4-wheel-drive capable gearbox doesn't automatically make it crime against humanity to own one. There are many much more dangerous and polluting vehicles driving around inner London on a daily basis which should be taken off the roads.

  48. Robert Hill

    @Frank Bough

    Nope, not when I am a landscape photographer as a hobby, and often take my truck where you are too lazy and pantywaisted to ever get to. And considering I lived on the Yorkshire Moors (Meltham) when I had the Discovery, I can certainly show you a lot of landscape YOU couldn't even walk without breaking your little thin ankle, or ripping one of your painted fingernails. If you've seen the Top Gear when Clarkson takes a Disco up that mountain, well, mine has done similar.

    The Freelander is just a compromise - now that I live in central London, the Disco is just too big to park easily. Otherwise I'd get another in a second. Or a Defender, 'cept my gf won't be seen dead in a Defender...

  49. Mark

    Smorgesboord.

    Diesels Pollute more: PM10's fall out and don't continue to rise with merely time passing. CO2 does accumulate.

    Fitting kids in cars: twenty years ago a Vauhall Viva had to fit four kids and two parents. All the kids were teenaged and none of us "svelte". We fit.

    Full 8 seater: well you're sharing the £25 per day fare amongst 8 people rather than through one.

    Banned 4x4's: Why not? They aren't needed except for military use. Farmers in wales use half a dozen cheap escorts and use the tractor when one gets stuck. No need for 'em. So rather than tax (which makes it more an elite item, since the rich can always afford more) ban 'em.

    Ringfence the tax for public transport: Yes.

  50. breakfast
    Thumb Up

    Not all bad news

    I live outside london and I've been thinking about getting a 4x4 in a legitimate will be going offroad, will be towing, will be doing agricultural work, kind of way.

    If Ken's big plan goes through there may be a whole bunch of decent 4x4s turning up cheap.

    Cushty.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    While you're at it Ken, why don't you levy the congestion charge on people?

    Not that I'd drive in London anyway, given the idiots on the road there in general, but as the driver of a Subaru, let me point just two things out to all the "we're so green, we're so clever, we drive diesels / superminis" brigade:

    1) I have to pay tax at a higher rate than you ALREADY.

    2) My fuel costs are higher than yours ALREADY, ** AND ** the government taxes fuel at *** 75% *** (so about 82p+ per litre).

    3) What TFL claims, and what is reality are two different things entirely - it's just more spin from a government that promises but never delivers.

    Reading statistics from the department of transport, the AA et al from this Sunday's papers, congestion charging has made little, if no difference at all (they claimed it reduced traffic by 10%, but it's since gone back up).

    4) HOW is allowing more cars to come in without paying the charge going to REDUCE emissions?

    5) The congestion charge is supposed to be used to better London transport (preferably it would subsidise it), yet at weekends the lines are closed or partly closed on Saturdays, and the cost of tickets are now the most expensive in the world!

    Ken is a typical Labour politician - all talk and no delivery, but people who support him are even bigger fools for believing his lies.

  52. Anton Ivanov

    Re: Pedestrianise the lot

    Sorry, I do not see why Stagecoach, Arriva, First other primary sources of downtown pollution should be privileged.

    If they decide to provide clean non-polluting transport like trolleybuses - yes fire away, can we have more of that ASAP please. As a pedestrian or cyclist I will be very happy to share the road with them. If a 5th world middle of nowhere small regional centers like Timishoara in Romania or Pazardzhik in Bulgaria can afford that, London should be able to do that as well. Otherwise - why the f*** are we paying all these "green" taxes.

    It takes only a few millions to put the pilons and convert a bus route into a trolleybus one. In most cases you can reuse the street lighting or fix it to buildings.

    A trolleybus does not produce any emissions when sitting in the middle of a traffic jam. It is safer than a bus (no fuel on board), quieter (no diesel to bring agricultural overtones to the city) and can be driven by any bus driver with minimum training.

  53. David Evans
    Thumb Down

    @Peter D'Hoye

    I live about a mile outside London, so I have a Kent postcode instead of a London one, and I spend most of my waking hours inside London, but Ken can set up his little exclusion zones for people who don't vote for him and I have no democratic say in the matter? How is that fair? In fact, as a pollution charge it sucks because it will force people to use more fuel to avoid the zone!

    I wouldn't mind if there was any logic to this on real environmental grounds, but this is just the cult of C02 being used to create an iniquitous tax. Again. And what's worse it will probably increase congestion AND raise overall pollution levels.

  54. Joe Blogs
    Stop

    @ Robert Hill

    "and we all have to admit that no one should be breaking 95 on the M1 anyway."

    Ahh.. so because your vehicle can only do 95Mph, anything above that is wrong, anyone who goes above this is wrong. But as your vehicle can do upto 95 then doing upto 95 is OK, even thought the limit on the M1 is 70Mph.

    Knob!

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...I hate Americans about as much as anyone...

    Bryce, I'm an American and I don't hate you.

    I do agree with you on the rest of that sentence.

  56. multipharious

    Do they tax Electric Car Ozone Emissions?

    Just a thought, but as the Mayor has already failed miserably to dissuade people from driving into London with the red zone tax...what does he do next? Taxes them further! Got to pay for the overbudget Olympics somehow. Twit. Yet he wraps his greedy tax sack in the holy veil of the Green hypocrites. The best cover I have seen in a while was on the front of a Lufthansa magazine , "Umwelt ist Umsatz" translation: Environment is Business. Obviously not intended in the way that I am framing it but...you greens better realize that there are wolves in your midst sullying your purity.

    All I have to say is I wish Porsche the best of luck in their legal battle against this envirocrite.

    Then again, I must point one thing out...nothing like a blowing your nose after a day out and about in London. Is that diesel dust there on my hankerchief? Or is it tire dust? Granulated rat droppings? Target whatever the hell it is, but it sure as shit did not come out of the back of a Porsche.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not about clean air....

    ... CO2 doesn't kill you (well, unless you're breathing in concentrated amounts, but the same can be said of any gas, even oxygen actually). The gasses that come out the back of a modern high performance car, are cleaner than the air that goes in, in a modern city - thanks to all the crap that buses, taxis, other diesel powered transport throws out. So if you want clean air, you want more Porsche drivers in London.

  58. Herby Silver badge

    What would be the charge for...

    ...an M1A1 Abrams Tank? It would be quite nice in central London, as it would have EXTREME right of way. Kinda a true BOFH type vehicle. Just a small pipsqueak horn which anyone who ignores does so at their own peril.

    Who needs a 4X4 when you have artillery you can point at the offender.

    Congestion, NO PROBLEM!

    Of course, my Porsche preference is for older 356 models (Specifically a 356SC) like the one in my dad's garage!

  59. Mark Tebbutt
    Thumb Up

    Sends a clear message to performance car makers to do better

    Hopefully this will send a clear message to performance car manufactures that its time to abandon the dinosaur internal combustion tech (fossil fuels get it) and move to electric vehicles as they can provide better performance than a Porsche 911 for roughly the same cost www.teslamotors.com .

    Critics point out that electric vehicles simply move the pollution to the power station. This is true but due to the efficiency of electric vehicles the amount of pollution per mile driven is greatly reduced and can more readily be tackled at a few dozen power stations than from millions of individual cars. http://www.teslamotors.com/efficiency/well_to_wheel.php

    If an individual has a desire to drive a zero pollution car the addition of around 3KW of photovoltaic panels to their home would provide enough zero pollution electricity to drive 20,000 miles a year even in cloudy old Britain.

    People who believe that modern car exhausts only emit CO2 and water are grossly miss informed. All car exhausts emissions are toxic and do damage to peoples health. A recent report by the lancet claims" Living too near a busy road could stunt a child's lung development, US research involving 3,677 children suggests." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6297701.stm

  60. bygjohn
    Stop

    Urban 4x4s

    For those people who insist on asking why anyone would buy a 4x4 for urban use, I'm happy to share: it's easier for my 93-year-old father to get in and out of rather than curling down into the Ka I had before, and it's much more comfortable now the loonies have covered all the urban streets with speed bumps, especially those which are badly maintained and have potholes in them (as well as the roads themselves). Half the urban roads round here make cart tracks look like the M6...

    BTW it's a 3-door RAV4, gets 30 to the gallon (better than the 850 Mini which was my first car) and isn't much longer than the Ka. And if it was crushed tomorrow, it would waste way more carbon than running it till it falls apart, something the anti-4x4 jihadists conveniently forget.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what - take more than two kids in the car!

    "You can easily fit two and more kids in any mid-class car without giving up on the seat-safety."

    There's a stupid statement from someone who has never tried it. Tried it with my mark 4 golf. Couldn't. stupid frickin lap belt in the middle, even if 3 across the seat had fitted.. Can't put them in the front 'cos of the airbag. traded it in for a people carrier - at least now I can take half a football team to matches, but its dull as dishwater to drive.

    This is everything to do with envy (divide and rule) and nowt to with saving the planet. All of you making the comments about school run 4x4s and porsche with the pricks on the inside, be honest with yourselves and admit its because you don't like the owners. Getting the cars off the streets of london won't save the planet. It will just mean the porsche drivers swap them for turbo diesel sports cars and stuff us all with PM10s. You actually hurt those in the middle with people carriers or estates and petrol engines for whom a car purchase is a big deal and who now have a perfectly good car that is rendered useless because of a stupid bit of politicking. but hey at least the mob is happy

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    The flood is coming

    Ban 4x4's yeah, yeah, any bandwagon, let me on....

    Noticed the weather - lots of rain, lots of of flooding, lots of 4x4's rescuing people. BBC won't show it as their a bit left like that and its important to be biased against 4x4's.

    Ever noticed a great big river running through London, and a barrier that technically isn't quite big enough trying to hold back the tide. Some of you'll be glad there are vehicles that can drive in up to 4' of water in a few years time. Some people have been very glad over the last couple of years for them.

    My 4x4 is fully equipped for deep wading because its fun (shock, horror) and because for those who get outside the M25 it does rain sometimes and things flood. Oh and the fact that I'd prefer not to die when my Micra is crushed by a truck, and that the carbon footprint of my 4x4 is considerably less than your Toyota Prius (or is it Taleban?) over its lifetime because my 4x4 isn't full of TOXIC WASTE called batteries and I don't need a nuclear power station to charge it. Oh and it won't be on a scrapheap in 5 years time because nobody wants a secondhand one.

    How about the greenies stopped smoking weed, then there'd be less CO2 emissions, less drug dealing, less crime, less cost to the NHS for the related mental health problems, less car crashes from people driving stoned. No didn't think you'd go for that somehow.

  63. Chris G Silver badge

    stop breathing

    Just a thought , the average person in his(or her) breath releases around 432 litres of CO2 per day at rest, that works out to ten million people in London producing around 8,6 tonnes of CO2 each day. I think it is about time for a tax on breathing in the interests of the environment, Of course if you are a lardy arsed jogger trying to lose weight ,your out put is going to be much higher than a resting average 65kilo type so if you want to save money, relax and have a heart attack.

  64. E_Nigma
    Unhappy

    I hope they win!

    The measure really will accomplish nothing (marginal effect on pollution and zero on congestion), except that, apparently, it will get the guy some popularity, which, I believe, was his intention in the first place. I'm rather disappointed as I seem to detect quite a bit of jealousy in some of the comments.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has anyone managed to measure Ken's emissions?

    I mean, it's quite a lot of hot air..

    For good measure, the CO2 output per person in his office during the extensive use of taxis should also be taken into account.

  66. adnim Silver badge

    @Frank Bough

    A 4x4 is pointless in a town or city, Safer? @ 30 miles per hour (60 if head on with some retard using his/her phone) safer for whom? Certainly not those on the outside of it. They obscure the view of the road ahead and encourage further arrogance in those who have no manners or respect for other road users.

    How long have 4x4's been plaguing our cities? We seemed to manage perfectly well before they became a trendy fashion accessory. Jealousy? Perhaps a little, I do wish sometimes I didn't give a fugg about anything but myself.

    A 2.0 litre car is powerful enough for all normal road use. Even driving a family around, anything above that is usually purchased for bragging rights or ego polishing. If someone wants to wave their dick in public, make 'em pay for it.

    Although I could afford many of the pretentious cars currently available, I drive a 52 plate 1.6 Focus through choice, it's wonderful to drive. It seems that my values are some what in conflict with most in our must have society.

  67. Matt

    carbon nutral CO2???

    4x4's should be banned?? get a life!

    I own a 4x4 - a 2.8litre turbo diesel... in the past 4 months its been upto its hubs in mud every other week, during the floods it proved invaluable in passing through 3foot deep water... I often transport 6 passengers in lift sharing and I burn a high percentage of pure vegetable oil...

    how does the pollution charging actualy work, do the cameras just see what car you have, and go on what it expects the vehicle to burn? so i get penalised for actively reducing my pollution footprint??

    hell, if i had to pay £25 a day, Id bloody well make sure i was getting value for money... driving EVERYWHERE! or leaving the engine running all day with the climate control on so the car is always comfortable!!! :D

  68. brian korn

    914 platform

    The 914 platform is a great idea - lots of aftermarket options and components to put a modern air-cooled 911 engine in them. Get one while you can. Google for options to build out a damn fast car.

  69. Paul Banacks
    Flame

    BORIS FOR MAYOR!

    We need to get rid of Mayor "I hate cars" Ken.

    Congestion is caused by having far too many traffic lights which stay RED on all exits and dividing the roads up into bus lanes. Then he smugly taxes us for it.

    There is an alternative.

    * VOTE BORIS FOR MAYOR - 2008 *

  70. Curtis Simmons

    Tax by displacement....stupid

    Tax by displacement is stupid

    examples

    Buick Lacrosse CXL city 17, highway 27 *3.8L engine.

    Honda accord city 18, highway 26 *3.0L engine

    Honda S2000 city 18, highway 24 *2.2L engine

    VW passat city 19, highway 28 *2L turbocharged engine

  71. Alex Threlfall
    Stop

    Tarred with the brush...

    What I hate about the whole "4x4's are wrong" attitude we have at the moment, and I'm fed up of the w*nkers who keep leaving fake parking tickets on my 4x4 when it's parked on a main road. Yes, ticket the idiots a few doors down who have 4x4's as people carriers/chelsea tractors, but the vehicles like mine which are a) signwritten as a business vehicle, and b) obviously used for towing and off road shouldn't be tarred with the same brush. It just annoys me! Don't even get me started on the congestion charge, or the LEZ stuff which costs our company hundreds of pounds every time we need to take the truck into the greater london area.

  72. Herbys
    Flame

    @Anonymous Coward

    The paragraph you quote says "more than two", you say "you can fit two or more" which is not true. In most compact cars, fitting three4 children (with the appropriate child restraints, boosters or child seats) is extremely difficult, and in many cases not legal. And more than three is simply impossible.

    And regarding the "big car" comment, I happen to love big cars, and need no excuses. I'm paying for the fuel, the normal taxes and the vehicle, and I'm a tall person with a big family that simply finds stupid being crammed in a tiny vehicle.

    An artificial and absolutely disproportionate tax such as this will not have any significant impact on the world's climate, as a single cow has more warming impact than even the worst (modern and properly tuned) gas guzzler.

    Stop telling other people how to live.

  73. Toby Harman
    Go

    Treat 4x4 as trucks

    ok - So there are legitimate uses for 4x4's. Farmers etc etc.

    Suggestions:

    They can't be registered at a metropolitan address.

    They have a reduced speed limit as per trucks.

    The police enforce this.

    These allow people who genuinely have a need for them to drive them, but severely inconvenience the Porsche Cayenne owners out there!

    You'd have to think about how you apply this - Maybe on a Kerb Weight basis? Over 2 tonnes and up you go? That would catch Rolls' as well, so there would have to be other criteria, such as being 4WD. That would also exclude the "light 4x4's" like the RAV4 and Subaru's, which is fine from my perspective.

    That'll take a few of those Chelsea tractors off the road.

  74. Tim Bates
    Thumb Down

    Guess again...

    "Just how fast can your Porsche go in a crowded London street?

    Why have a six liter engine capable of enough acceleration to rip your eyeballs down your throat when you'll have to stop just a few yards later."

    Try 3.6L or 3.8L. I think you might be confusing cylinders with litres. Or thinking of the Carerra GT (which is not common).

    Only 3 Porsche models (I can think of) have an engine bigger than 3.8L:

    Carerra GT (V10 - 5.7L)

    928 (V8 - 4.5 to 5.4 depending on model)

    917 race car which won't be on the roads in London anyway.

  75. Eddie
    Joke

    My solution

    Is keep your French Porsche in London and your English Porsche at your house in France. Save on parking fines, speeding tickets, road tax too. LOL.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Big Porshe

    The whole point about having a Porsche is to show how much money you have. Well what bigger display of excess consumption is there than throwing away £9000 per year (after personal taxation) Wow! Look what a big dick I've got!

    Still Green Ken has a point.

    I well remember mornings crossing the Strand at the Charring Cross pedestrian lights. First take a breath in the Charring Cross yard, not too deep now. Then hurry across the pavement, hoping there is no holdup, to the centre reservation then with a lunge over to the rear of St Martin’s Church where you can at last take your next breath. Takes some timing I can tell you. And what did I pass on the Strand? Big red busses – lots. Black taxis – lots. White vans – nearly lots. Cars – some maybe. Porsches – “Er what’s a Porsche”. We all know what is polluting London, Ken.

    Still Green Ken has a point; I suppose you have to start somewhere. And you need a big dick to own a Porsche. Not too many of those in the City these days.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Big Porshe

    The whole point about having a Porsche is to show how much money you have. Well what bigger display of excess consumption is there than throwing away £9000 per year (after personal taxation) Wow! Look what a big dick I've got!

    Still Green Ken has a point.

    I well remember mornings crossing the Strand at the Charring Cross pedestrian lights. First take a breath in the Charring Cross yard, not too deep now. Then hurry across the pavement, hoping there is no holdup, to the centre reservation then with a lunge over to the rear of St Martin’s Church where you can at last take your next breath. Takes some timing I can tell you. And what did I pass on the Strand? Big red buses – lots. Black taxis – lots. White vans – nearly lots. Cars – some maybe. Porsches – “Er what’s a Porsche”. We all know what is polluting London, Ken.

    Still Green Ken has a point; I suppose you have to start somewhere. And you need a big dick to own a Porsche. Not too many of those in the City these days.

  78. Mark

    @bygjohn

    You're making up a false dichotomy, john. The choice isn't "ka" and "4x4", there are a lot more types of car. If high riding position is all that is needed, tell the manufacturers to make the 4x4 chassis but put a normal 1.4/1.6 engine in it, add regenerative braking and you've got a car that in urban does only a little worse than it does motorway.

    And herbeys, Ken isn't telling you how to live your life, he's just taxing you, but STILL you complain...

  79. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  80. James
    Happy

    Hahaha

    The best thing about the Ken Livingstone and the congestion charge is the entertainment value you get from watching the wailing and moaning from the 'we're going to kill the planet / pedestrians / other drivers and don't give a fuck' brigade. I really like the way he *really* fucks off the Evening Standard, too.

    A few facts:

    - The congestion charge has reduced traffic levels by 20% since 2002.

    - Travel times in Central London are about the same due to traffic calming measures.

    - On the other hand pedestrian fatalities have fallen by **40%** (of course the 4X4 owners, by definition, don't give a fuck about this).

    - Cycling in London is up 43%

    - Any *Londoner* will tell you that the buses and tubes are have been immeasurably improved.

    - Most *Londoners* (i.e. the people that live here) support the congestion charge since the majority of Londoners don't even own a car.

    The timing of this announcement (three months before the mayoral election) is not an accident. The congestion charge is a vote winner with the people of London who don't own a 4X4 (say about 95%).

    I look forward to the increased wailing and climate change denial.

  81. bobbles31
    Coat

    Peter Hawkins

    "When diesels are as clean as petrol cars, i.e. active catalytic converters and soot filters, then you can lecture petrol drivers on the environment. Until then, as I drive round behind your stinking hulk, my petrol car is actually cleaning up after you."

    My 2.2ctdi saloon car has a soot filter and an active catalyst. So please accept the lectures being given.

    I don't need it, I've got climate control and don't have to pay the £25 charge.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    What will the money be used for?

    Will the money be used to make bus seats wider so that non-pygmies can have a comfortable seat without being squashed in or pushed off the seat be other passengers?

    Will the money be used to make a fast, reliable, uncrowded, air conditioned, cheaper underground system?

    Will the money be used to make more cycling lanes so that cyclists can do as they are told and cycle in them?

    Will cycle lanes be more than 100-400 metres in length?

    Will the buildings in London be cleaned so that they are not covered in black soot and crap like all of them are now?

    Answer to all of the above is of course a resounding and exasperated NO from all those who know better than I do.

    So what will the money from congestion charging go to?

    The Olympics in 2012.

    No, not the city, not the community, not the buildings, not cleaning up our filthy capital city, not the transport system.

    The money will be spent on the building work for the Olympic grounds themselves - which have as you know got a current price tag of £40 billion.

  83. Dan
    Go

    Green eyed monsters

    My my, the jealously has come out on this one!

    The selfishness will be the thing that gets us in the end. Your inclination to think that it's ok because it doesn't affect you is precisely the thing that enables our corrupt hamfisted politicians to introduce all this crap legislation that is creeping ever forwards until we won't be able to fart without getting permission.

    Good luck Porsche.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Bryce Prewitt

    It is not class hatred.

    It is money for old rope - a business opportunity.

    You see, these rich people that can afford to buy and run 4x4's and sports cars and 'Chelsea tractors' can and will drive into central London every day in them.

    They can and will pay £25 per day to do this, or pay on days that it suits them to drive themselves anyway. That - or get the company to pay the charges.

    No, they are not small companies, they are banks and equity corps etc.

    All this is, is Ken being told and seeing himself an opportunity to wring more money out of London to pay for the Olympics.

    Only question is, why did we want or need the Olympics (at a cost of £40 billion) in the first place?

  85. Perpetual Cyclist
    Unhappy

    Don't worry, this problem will go away...

    Oil again passed the symbolic price of $100/barrel yesterday. With the £ falling, that is a record UK price. The price of iron ore whet up 60% in one step yesterday. The price of wheat doubled in the last month. Gold is converging on $1000 an ounce. The world is bumping up against the global limits to growth. Western governments are quietly and systematically hyperinflating themselves out of total economic collapse. The rich will always be rich, but in a few years the middle classes will suddenly realise they are new poor. There will be a lot few Chelsea Tractors on the road, but most of them will still be in Chelsea.

  86. Tony
    Paris Hilton

    @James

    A few facts? Hardly.

    Travel times same due to traffic calming? The L in TfL is for "liars". Don't believe the propaganda. Check your facts. They don't match the TfL's biased interpretation.

    Pedestrian fatalities are down - it has nothing to with congstion charge, its across London (not just CC land) due to intense focus on casualty reduction by police and councils (if you used public transport you'd have seen the ads). As for your other comment, grow up (are 12 year olds allowed on El Reg?). FACT - adults hit by 4x4's are less likely to die or suffer serious head injury. Statistical analysis of accidents has proven they are SAFER for adults. That's why well informed anti's don't mention accident rates anymore, just co2.

    Cycling is up - so are cyclist casualty rates (congrtulations, the only group of road users with an increase). Handy hint - try observing the highway code - red is for danger and stop at traffic lights.

    Any londoner? Improved immeasurably? How much did Ken pay you for that gem. I was born in london and commute 3 hours a day across town - they have not improved at all, just more crowded. You clearly don't use them.

    Most Londoners support the congestion - really? I get the impression you're not a londoner, but the election will tell.

    From your vitriolic comments my guess is that you are bike riding halfwit who jumps red lights and is a fully paid up cycling neo-nazi (intolerant views and violent hatred of those you disagree with, dodgy outfits and helmets - sounds familiar). Please don't delude yourself that your opinions are facts. You're not even very good at being an anti!

    Paris as you don't have a clue!

  87. Jack Moxley
    Flame

    Hangings not good enough for 233g/m2 +

    Bloody human rights act, blocking my guilty free murdering rampage of the sloane ranger.

  88. James
    Stop

    @Tony

    Actually I'm a man with a van. You're right that I don't spend very much time on public transport because I spend all day every day driving around London.

    It is ludicrous to suggest that 4X4s are safer for pedestrians. I am not an expert on road safety but the physics are very straightforward and rely on the conservation of momentum:

    M1v1 = M2v2 . 2000kg car going at 10 m/s will send 100kg man flying at 200m/s.

    A 1000kg car will send him flying at 100m/s. Which would you prefer to be hit by?

    This is the same argument used by people to say that 4X4s are 'safer' (despite alarming propensity to roll). They are 'safer' because the survival of their occupants is in inverse proportion to survival of everybody (pedestrians included) else on the road.

    You can't have it both ways.

  89. Sleepy

    Easy answer

    Everone seems to have missed the easy answer - well it's easy for me anyway. Just don't go into London any more. Don't pay any congestion charge, don't work there, don't buy anything there. Leave Ken a ghost town to rule over.

    Oh, and getting three small children into full-sized child seats can't be done in a current Vectra, the doors won't shut.

  90. Tony
    Paris Hilton

    @James

    I congratulate you on your ignorance and prejudice overcoming your fundamental requirement to survive and reproduce! A Darwin Award is surely coming your way.

    Traffic collisions between vehicles and pedestrians have little to do with momentum. Hit by a car at speed you hit the bonnet, your head smashes the windscreen and you fly in the air. Momentum only determines how high/far you fly. You then hit the road/kerb. What kills you is the dual impact of hitting the windscreen (very hard) with your head, followed by landing on head first on tarmac (even harder).

    The long bonnets of 4x4's mean an adult will often hit their head on the bonnet, which being thin sheet metal have some give unlike a windscreen. As they are flat fronted you slump over the bonnet with internal injuries, before sliding off the bonnet onto the road. Thus you have much less severe impacts to the head and mainly internal trauma to the body, which are more survivable than 2 massive head traumas from a car (or van!) hit.

    These are facts, proven by accident analysis. So Mr Van driver, if you "gave a f*ck" about other people you'd ditch the van and get a safe 4x4!

    Which is more dangerous and polluting - a large 4x4 or a Mercedes van capable of over 100mph laden driven by one the highest risk occupations for vehicle insurance - Van Drivers! Statistically you are a lot more dangerous than any 4x4 - ask the insurance industry. Thanks for coming.

  91. bygjohn

    @Mark

    "You're making up a false dichotomy, john. The choice isn't "ka" and "4x4", there are a lot more types of car."

    Well, actually I wasn't making up a dichotomy at all, just giving a real-life example.

    "If high riding position is all that is needed, tell the manufacturers to make the 4x4 chassis but put a normal 1.4/1.6 engine in it, add regenerative braking and you've got a car that in urban does only a little worse than it does motorway."

    Actually, apart from the regenerative braking my RAV4 isn't far off this anyway - 2.0 engine isn't that much bigger than your proposed 1.6, which I suspect would have felt a tad sluggish after the 1.3 in my Ka considering the RAV is a bit bigger. And of course the RAV exists, your proposed car doesn't. Hey, it's actually a nice car too, which is also a factor. There's more to life than pure utility, unless you're into hair shirts etc.

    My main reason for commenting here was to counter the notion that all 4x4s are enormous and gas-guzzling when plainly they aren't, as is shown by the number which aren't subject to the London charge when other non-4x4s are, and give an example of why someone would use one in an urban context.

  92. Seán

    Electronic ignition

    Surely someone can come up with a way of shutting down the unneeded cylinders while puttering through town. Then all the idiots who want cars which can do more than the speed limit or can ford rivers can cut their emissions to acceptable levels while in the congestion area. they'd still be able to get themselves a whole load of points outside the congestion area. I'm sure some acceptable system could be devised which would cost less than £50 a day.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Sleepy

    I agree - best suggestion.

    Leaves more room for pedestrians and cyclists - who will continue the battle.

  94. Mark

    @bygjohn

    "And of course the RAV exists, your proposed car doesn't. Hey, it's actually a nice car too, which is also a factor."

    Well that's because nobody says "Can I have one" and the profit margins are better on this car so why bother changing when nobody is asking. Even if only a few people ask, why risk a profitable line?

    With your RAV being taxed to buggery, sales will fall and they'll be looking for a new direction. And they'll have your request on line...

  95. Gordon

    OR....

    Question is. How far as we going to take the argument "if you want it, and can afford it, why shouldn't you have it??".

    I'm pretty sure Michael Ryan would have been against gun control!

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Well thats what you get

    Besides its cheaper to drive your own car than take the bus..

    Push the PB transpport price and force people into cars then nail them for driving a car... And before you are kicked out by the public take over the transport so you still have high paying job.

    You must tell me who your master was where you trainined..

    Quality!

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