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Archive 2008

Londoners agree £25 Congestion Charge is too highNew ICM poll: overwhelming majority of Londoners say new £25 congestion charge too high, and the Mayor’s own voters agree

Three out of four Londoners oppose Mayor Ken Livingstone’s plan to increase the congestion charge to £25 for VED Band G vehicles, a new ICM opinion poll has found.

Even those who voted for Mr Livingstone at the last Mayoral election believe by a large majority that the planned increase is too high, the poll reveals.

These findings undermine Mr Livingstone’s claims that the public support his plans. The poll, conducted on behalf of Porsche who began legal action against the Mayor this week, showed that 74% of Londoners believe the £25 charge is unfair.

There is scarcely more support for his plans among those who backed the Mayor in 2004. The poll reveals 65 per cent of those who voted for him last time think the £25 charge is too high, compared to 34 per cent who believe it is about right or not high enough.

The poll also revealed widespread suspicion over the Mayor’s motives for the increase. A clear majority of Londoners (62%) said the main reason for the proposal was because “he is most interested in raising extra money from Londoners” rather than “cutting congestion and helping London’s environment.”

Other key findings from the poll:

- 81 per cent of Londoners believe the increase in the congestion charge will be bad for business in London.

- Over half of Londoners (51%) believe it is unfair that they should be made to pay an extra charge for driving to help the environment when other people in Britain do not have to pay a similar charge.

- 68 per cent of Londoners believe £8 is an unfair amount of money to pay to drive into the congestion zone.

Responding to the poll Andy Goss, Managing Director of Porsche GB, said, “Londoners agree that the Mayor’s plans to introduce a massive new charge for larger vehicles is totally unfair and is more about squeezing money out of motorists than trying to help the environment. The Mayor should take the chance to reconsider his plans before he leaves us with a system that risks damaging London and irritating massive numbers of people”.