Independent research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) found that the changes will increase both pollution and congestion.
The report – Green tax or white elephant? – found London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s proposed changes are “likely to lead to increased traffic volumes and worse congestion” and “are a costly and risky white elephant”.
Land Rover, which commissioned the report, is a prominent opponent to the proposed emission-related congestion charge (ERCC) which, if implemented, will see the majority of vehicles in its current range charged £25 to enter central London.
“There is almost universal opposition to the charge,” said Mark Foster, manager of corporate affairs for Land Rover.
Transport for London proposes to increase the charge from £8 to £25 for cars emitting 225g of CO2 per km. This would make 16% of vehicles in London liable for the new £25 charge.
The CEBR report said the plans were seriously flawed because more cars will be able to enter London for free under the proposals.
Transport for London refuted the report’s claims. “These criticisms are reminiscent of the doom-laden arguments of the opponents of the original congestion charge scheme, all of which have been shown to be wrong,” said a TfL spokesperson.