Taxing Gas Guzzlers Fails to Reduce Emissions in London

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In summary, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, who was chairman of Royal Dutch Shell from 1998 to 2001, says taxing gas guzzlers has failed to get people to abandon large vehicles. The Daily Telegraph reported Monday that new low emission standards went into effect in London, and fines of $400 a day will be issued to operators of lorries, buses and coaches that fail to meet them. London Mayor Ken Livingstone says the goal is to reduce emissions by 16 percent in areas of the capital where air quality does not meet current European Union standards.
  • #1
wolram
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http://www.newsdaily.com/Science/UPI-1-20080204-09283900-bc-britain-emissions.xml

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, who was chairman of Royal Dutch Shell from 1998 to 2001, says taxing gas guzzlers has failed to get people to abandon large vehicles, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

"When we eliminated coal fires in London we didn't say to people in Chelsea you can pay a bit more and toast your crumpets in front of an open fire," Sir Mark said.

His comments came on the day new low emission standards went into effect in London.

A network of cameras that record license plates will be used to enforce the new targets and fines of $400 a day will be issued to operators of lorries, buses and coaches that fail to meet them.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone says the goal is to reduce emissions by 16 percent in areas of the capital where air quality does not meet current European Union standards.
 
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  • #2
What will Queeney babe and the family be driven around in, and will two Jags become two Minis.
 
  • #3
Cameras to check emissions? You mean they are blowing smoke?
 
  • #4
The cameras can recognise license plates which are all on the DVLA database telling you who owns the car, where they live and what make and model the car (or other vehicle) is. All car models have stats on how much they emit etc.
 
  • #5
Kurdt said:
The cameras can recognise license plates which are all on the DVLA database telling you who owns the car, where they live and what make and model the car (or other vehicle) is. All car models have stats on how much they emit etc.
But how do they know if the individual vehicle is emitting too much?
 
  • #6
They don't and that's why its terribly unfair. They're forcing people to switch the type of car they drive.
 
  • #7
:rolleyes: A lot of currency exchange required, it seems for the Londoners, changing ££'s to those 400$

But regardless of effects of gas emission, the oil supply is limited and when it's gone, it's gone. No need to use up more than your fair share and there are big cars a lot less thirsty than others, like the new generation TDi diesels of the hybrids.
 
  • #8
Kurdt said:
They don't and that's why its terribly unfair. They're forcing people to switch the type of car they drive.
That's crazy. For driving a car that is meeting the emission standards when it was made they are going to fine people $400 a day? I can see if the car is in disrepair and is emitting more than it should...
 
  • #9
I guess it is a bit stupid to own a 4*4 or a stretch limo to drive around London but a lot of cars are going to struggle to get 35mpg.
 
  • #10
Are they going to buy the people driving the "outlawed" cars new ones? Afterall, if nobody can drive it, they won't be able to sell it to anyone to afford a new one on their own. I can see them not allowing any new sales or production, and all need to be maintained to keep within certain limits, but how can people afford to suddenly replace a car that was legal when they bought it?
 
  • #11
The article isn't entirely clear, but they're not banning the gas guzzling, high emission vehicles altogether. They're banning them from being driven in parts of London.

They probably wouldn't need cameras to know who owned gas guzzling, high emmission vehicles if owners have to register their vehicles. They could just check the registration records and come out and impound the offending vehicles.
 
  • #12
Its only in a very limited area of London. If you want to drive in that zone in any vehicle that has emissions over a certain level then you have to pay. Hence the cameras. Thats how I saw it on the news earlier anyway.

Its two stories together really since that Shell businessman later came out and just said ban them altogether.
 
  • #13
Good bloody idea, that's what I say.

Besides, it's only for commercial vehicles anyway. Cars and motorbikes are exempt.
 
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  • #14
Kurdt said:
Its only in a very limited area of London. If you want to drive in that zone in any vehicle that has emissions over a certain level then you have to pay. Hence the cameras. Thats how I saw it on the news earlier anyway.

brewnog said:
Good bloody idea, that's what I say.

Besides, it's only for lorries over 12 tonnes anyway. Everyone else has until 2010 to upgrade to Euro 3.
Oh, well that's different.
 
  • #15
Kurdt said:
The cameras can recognise license plates which are all on the DVLA database telling you who owns the car, where they live and what make and model the car (or other vehicle) is. All car models have stats on how much they emit etc.
That technology is coming to the US. There's a European company marketing is pattern recognition system which identifies license plates.
 
  • #16
Astronuc said:
That technology is coming to the US. There's a European company marketing is pattern recognition system which identifies license plates.

It seems to have been quite successful in reducing car crimes and other related crimes. The technology is small enough to be put into traffic patrol cars and can easily recognise vehicles that don't have any tax or have warrants on them where previously they would have gotten away with it.
 
  • #17
Astronuc said:
That technology is coming to the US. There's a European company marketing is pattern recognition system which identifies license plates.
This is done around the country now to catch speeders, their license plate is photographed and the person is mailed a ticket.
 
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  • #18
Astronuc said:
That technology is coming to the US. There's a European company marketing is pattern recognition system which identifies license plates.

It's also used every day on toll bridges around here. If you've forgotten to bring your electronic toll tag (which is more reliable) they'll just read your license plate instead.

- Warren
 
  • #19
The government will soon know every ones movements every minut of the day,
so long as they do not loose the information in the post.
 
  • #20
Far from being a symbol of independence, the automobile is finally becoming highly controlled and highly regulated. I see this as a good thing, personally. If you don't want to pay registration fees and have your speed monitored and be subject to parking fines, just ride a bike or walk instead.

- Warren
 
  • #21
It is so very easy to say "just ban it" and look at the consumer as the criminal and the scapegoat. How about a million dollar a day fine for G.M. or Ford or Toyota until all their cars meet an international standard? Personally I drive a 4x4 truck. I need it for my line of work. I have no choice. At all. The Irony is...I do environmental remediation. Dinging me for cleaning up the environment does not sound quite fair. We are just the easiest target. Not the best target imho. Just the easiest. My work area goes from Windsor Ontario to Cornwall Ontario, From the great lakes to Thunderbay. This is an area of 1000 kms x2000 kms roughly. I cannot "ride a bike" and there are millions of people just like me. The blanket statement to ban is not a well thought out position. Just a kneejerk reaction to government and industrie policys we can not controll. Lobby groups reign. We loose.
 
  • #22
glondor said:
Personally I drive a 4x4 truck. I need it for my line of work. I have no choice. At all. The Irony is...I do environmental remediation. Dinging me for cleaning up the environment does not sound quite fair. We are just the easiest target. Not the best target imho. Just the easiest. My work area goes from Windsor Ontario to Cornwall Ontario, From the great lakes to Thunderbay. This is an area of 1000 kms x2000 kms roughly.

We're not talking about driving your truck all over Canada, we're talking about driving it in urban core of London. I hope understand the difference.

I cannot "ride a bike" and there are millions of people just like me.

There may be millions of people like you who require an automobile for their livehihood, but there are billions more who honestly do not.

The blanket statement to ban is not a well thought out position. Just a kneejerk reaction to government and industrie policys we can not controll. Lobby groups reign. We loose.

I'm sure any such law would have provisions for people who need to use such vehicles for business activity. I don't think anyone will suggest that delivery vehicles no longer service this part of the city, for example. These laws are just designed to motivate the vast majority of people, who do not need to drive a personal automobile into downtown London, to find some alternative.

- Warren
 
  • #23
I agree with using bikes for local travel, by far the worst poluters are those that comute to London, it is crazy using a car to carry one person 180 ish miles round trip 5 days a week, the problem is the cost of living in London and people want the quiet of the country side, so why not go the whole hog make London and other cities places where people want to live.
 
  • #24
wolram said:
I guess it is a bit stupid to own a 4*4 or a stretch limo to drive around London but a lot of cars are going to struggle to get 35mpg.

That shouldn't be too hard. My North American model Honda Civic gets 37mpg and it's quite a bit bigger than a car you typically see in the UK. What does a Mini get, like 50 in the city? Those things are so damn small that anything less would be unacceptable.

Oh and lol @ taxing cars that are already on the road. Thanks government! Now people need to scrap their cars (since nobody will buy them), and I'll bet the government won't help them pay for their replacement. What happens then? You just quit your job? Sell your old house and buy a new one? Great policies.
 
  • #25
ShawnD said:
Oh and lol @ taxing cars that are already on the road. Thanks government! Now people need to scrap their cars (since nobody will buy them), and I'll bet the government won't help them pay for their replacement. What happens then? You just quit your job? Sell your old house and buy a new one? Great policies.

You don't have to scrap the car -- you just cannot drive it into London anymore. There are many other, better ways to get into London anyway.

- Warren
 
  • #26
chroot said:
You don't have to scrap the car -- you just cannot drive it into London anymore. There are many other, better ways to get into London anyway.

- Warren

How do you get around then? Parking is not readily available in most cities, so you can't just drive to some arbitrary point and take the bus from there unless you expect your car to get towed while you're at work.

edit: Actually I tried that once. I parked my car near the bus station then took the bus to university. When I came back to my car, I had been issued a warning that my car will be towed if it's seen in that location again.
 
  • #27
I hope that's motorbikes :biggrin:

They're very efficient any way.
 
  • #28
ShawnD said:
How do you get around then?

Bus, bike, subway, or *gasp* walk.

- Warren
 
  • #29
ShawnD said:
How do you get around then? Parking is not readily available in most cities, so you can't just drive to some arbitrary point and take the bus from there unless you expect your car to get towed while you're at work.

It's LONDON! They have buses, underground, taxis, great sidewalks...it's not a problem getting around without a car. In fact, the entire time I was in Britain, I had no need to ever rent a car. Between trains, buses, a good pair of shoes, and the occasional taxi, I could get everywhere I needed to go.

It's very similar to what a lot of people do to commute to NYC too. Whenever I visit there, my car stays in NJ (if I drive instead of flying). Trains, subways, buses, feet and taxis get me everywhere within the city and back and forth from the city to NJ. It's a LOT cheaper to park in NJ and take a train to the city than it is to park in the city. And, it's a lot faster to walk or take a subway than it is to drive a car in city congestion. If I lived IN a city, I'd probably invest in a good bike and relearn to ride it, because it is a much better way to get around those medium distances that are a bit too long to walk and a bit too short to need to deal with buses or subways. And you're going to get the worst possible gas mileage in a city like that, because you are constantly stopping and going. You slam to a stop with the rest of the traffic to idle at the lights, then zoom as fast as you can to the next light. This is the flow of traffic, you can't avoid it, because you're bumper-to-bumper the whole time.

Now that I understand the issue better, it makes more sense...as long as they have provided adequate park-and-ride type facilities outside the city. The East-Coast cities in the US have these, though not always adequate. You drive only a short distance from home to a large parking area by a train station or bus depot, and then take the train or bus the rest of the way. I presume such things exist in the metropolitan areas of the West Coast too. Unfortunately, it's so many places in the middle that desperately lack this infrastructure for mass transit from suburbs to cities.
 
  • #30
Yeah, there is nothing like that in the midwest.

Eurpopean inner cities are really ideal for biking.

In Paris, I went everywhere by subway. In the South of France I could do some walking if I was say, in Nice on the main strip on the Riviera, otherwise, you do need a car.
 
  • #31
Sounds like a good idea to me, except for a few problems as already mentioned. In my opinion, the US should also grow a pair and sign the friggin' Kyoto protocol, as well as up gas mileage requirements. Since I will be around to see the future, the environment is my main beef, even if global warming and climate change aren't happening, we still need to better these technologies.
 
  • #32
Evo said:
Cameras to check emissions? You mean they are blowing smoke?

I interviewed at a company once that uses remote technology to sense the quantity and quality of the emissions emitted by a vehicle. Yes, it can and is being done. They also have a camera so they can get your license and send you a ticket for emitting too much bad stuff. They build this stuff in Tucson AZ.
 
  • #33
ShawnD said:
How do you get around then? Parking is not readily available in most cities, so you can't just drive to some arbitrary point and take the bus from there unless you expect your car to get towed while you're at work.

edit: Actually I tried that once. I parked my car near the bus station then took the bus to university. When I came back to my car, I had been issued a warning that my car will be towed if it's seen in that location again.

I've been taking the bus to my university for over a year and a half now. I park my car at the -- now pay attention -- PARK & RIDE and take the bus.

Driving an hour 1 way to my university and paying for parking? Stupidity on that level should be punished by death.
 
  • #34
Dont you have a parking pass loops?

My drive is 30 mins each way, but I know people that are easily 1 hr away that drive every day.
 
  • #35
Cyrus said:
Dont you have a parking pass loops?
Don't you still have to pay for the parking pass? At a lot of universities, this can be exhorbitantly expensive. Here they're even considering doing what a lot of other universities do and restrict parking on campus for students. Though, the biggest problem around our campus aren't the commuters (students/staff/faculty) who drive in the morning and park for the day then leave (sure, we get some rush hour traffic, but nothing horrendous), but those who live on or near campus and drive everywhere they go all day long leading to continuous congestion on the same roads that have heavy pedestrian traffic. It sort of self-perpetuates the problem...the harder it gets to cross the street to get to the restaurant nearby for a quick lunch, the more likely someone is to say, "... it!" and get in their car and drive someplace further rather than play chicken crossing the roads. I keep recommending pedestrian bridges to the university, but the problem is the roads in question are town owned. Since the town just voted down an additional fee for road improvements, I doubt things like pedestrian bridges are going to get much priority.

My drive is 30 mins each way, but I know people that are easily 1 hr away that drive every day.

If I had a commute that long, I'd take trains or buses if they were available. That much driving every day just adds to congestion on the roads and when every individual has their own car, more emissions. The other benefit is you can sit on a bus or train and relax for that half hour or hour and get other things done...whether it's reading for pleasure, or studying, doing some homework, etc., you can fit in another hour or two a day of productivity so you have that much less to do when you get home, or you can simply relax and unwind from the day (stare out the window, listen to music, take a nap) rather than spending that time having to focus on driving and getting aggravated with everyone else on the road. To me, this is a great benefit of public transportation, aside from the environmental aspects.
 
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