Government May Expand Congestion Charge to Everywhere Stinky

By Gary Cutlack on at

The government is keen on having some of the same riches that London hoovers up via its congestion charge scheme, and is considering introducing the idea of forcing commercial drivers and some car owners to pay to drive through the middle bits of towns and cities to 35 locations across the country.

The proposal would ask councils to perhaps even consider banning diesel cars and vehicles from the most polluted areas at peak times, or in a move that'll have local councillors' pupils morphing into pound signs, start charging them as much as £20 a day to enter the centre of towns and cities that struggle to meet clean air targets.

It's all actually to cut down exposure to diesel fumes, of course, with The Times saying that environment secretary Andrea Leadsom is preparing to demand that local councils act to limit exposure to nitrous oxide output and potentially harmful particulate matter spewed out of the worst old motors. This would be done by creating "clean air zones" inside urban pollution hotspots, monitored by cameras to keep older, more polluting vehicles out unless they pay for the privilege.

This is probably also being done to stop the EU hitting us with a massive fine. [The Times]