'The war on motorists continues to accelerate, fuelled by the vanity of politicians eager to pose as the champions of environmental protection.
In a culture that worships the green agenda, the punishment of drivers is presented as a moral crusade, while savage financial penalties are considered the wages of ecological sins.
In particular, the owners of diesel cars — like myself — are the new pariahs, hammered for our supposed heresy.
Yesterday, in another attack on millions of law-abiding motorists, the so-called Ultra Low Emission Zone came into effect across central London.
Under this scheme, introduced by Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan, drivers have to pay a charge of £12.50 a day if they take either a diesel car more than four years old, or a petrol car more than 13 years old, into the heart of the capital.
Failure to pay will result in a brutal fine of £160, though this will be reduced to £80 if the money is handed over within a fortnight.
An estimated 35,000 vehicles a day could be caught, bringing more than £200 million a year into the coffers of the spendthrift Mayor.
And, from October 2021, the zone will be expanded to cover all of inner London within the boundaries of the North and South Circular roads.
As the owner of a second-hand Mercedes who makes regular journeys from Kent into London, I could be one of those hit by the fee, which will come on top of the £11.50 congestion charge, levied for the privilege of driving on the capital’s paralysed roads.
Some might argue I should abandon my Merc and take public transport. In fact, I frequently use trains, buses and the Underground. But, as fellow commuters will know, such journeys are incredibly expensive: a day return from my home in Margate to St Pancras, travelling in the morning and with the Tube, is £85.
So the car can be a cheaper alternative, though not for much longer, now that phony eco warrior Sadiq is on the march. And Khan, for all his self-seeking absurdity, is hardly unique. His experiment is certain to be copied throughout the country.'
Read more: Monstrous injustice of a poll tax on wheels: First eco-obsessed politicians BRIBED us to buy diesel cars. Now they’re hammering us for owning them – to save the planet
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