News Home » Europe » My own collateral damage in the London mayor's green war

Around the World

My own collateral damage in the London mayor's green war

運営事務局 JIMOPLE 6 October 30, 2018

Sad news in my household. Moonie is not long for this world.

The time is fast approaching when I must put her out of her misery despite the fact that she seems pretty robust regardless of her aging years. Like Boxer in "Animal Farm," I will soon load her up into her metaphorical horse box and send her to the knacker's yard and that will be it.

Crushed! Not me but her. She will be crushed, literally, because despite being in absolutely tip-top condition, despite starting first time every time, despite her unbelievable fuel economy and once green credentials, the mayor of London has decreed she must die.

Now, giving my commuter car a gender and a name is a bit extreme, I agree, but the truth is my little Ford Fiesta has taken me on a 161,000 mile journey, without so much as a blip.

Seriously, once this ex-Essex boy got over the fact that I was buying a car that took me back down the Dagenham (with a soft G) Village memory lane, I have never had a more reliable and efficient car.

I first bought "it," (genderless now as I get into my tale), as a fabulously green way of driving into The City every day from my countryside home.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London speaks onstage at the SXSW Convergence Keynote during SXSW at Stateside Theater on March 12, 2018 in Austin, Texas. 
Jason Bollenbacher | Getty Images for SXSW
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London speaks onstage at the SXSW Convergence Keynote during SXSW at Stateside Theater on March 12, 2018 in Austin, Texas. 

The then mayor, before he became the Brexiteer pin-up, Boris Johnson, told me that if I bought this car, with its under a 100 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer, I would not only be helping save the planet but I would also get a pass on congestion charges. Win win!

Now, before someone says I should have got the train in, let me remind the reader that I get up at 3 a.m. every day and there is no other way I can physically commute and be at my desk just before 4.30 a.m. other than drive.

Anyway the glory days of my little Fiesta, which in its heyday was called "clean diesel" are long gone. Clean diesel became an oxymoron, or was that just another German car industry lie all along? The exemptions from charges have withered into tumbleweed. No longer seemingly green but a filthy brown tumbleweed that is.

From April next year charges go up again and by my reckoning my valueless little stalwart will cost nearly £5,000 ($6,400) a year in charges to drive in. Now as stubborn as I am, that is a bit much to stomach.

The current mayor, Sadiq Khan, has some delusion that it is greener to buy a new Tesla, with its globally-assembled components, than to keep my, apparently no longer green, pocket rocket on the road. Strange logic, just like his myopic counterparts in Germany who think electric cars powered by German coal are part of the answer.

I ask you Mr. Mayor, "is this crusade against cars really about being green, or is there just a hint, and I won't think bad of you for being honest, of desperation to find a scapegoat for disastrous transport policies and a cash cow to fill in your £1 billion Transport for London deficit?"