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More than 19,000 drivers currently spared from paying the London congestion charge face losing the privilege under new proposals unveiled today.

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Transport for London (TfL) is consulting on plans to introduce a new ultra low emission discount next July for vehicles which emit 75g of CO2 per km or less.

Currently, cars qualify for the existing greener vehicle discount if they emit 100g/km of CO2 or less and meet the Euro 5 standard for air quality.

However, these drivers would be granted a ‘sunset period’ and would not have to pay the charge until 2015.

Nick Fairholme, TfL’s director for congestion charging, said: “We do listen to the views of our customers and have made significant changes to the scheme in recent years, including the removal of the western extension and the introduction of congestion charging auto pay.

“The proposed changes will make the scheme greener and more efficient.”

The consultation, which will end on February 8 next year, also proposes increasing the penalty charge to £130 from £120 and removing the option to pay the charge at shops and petrol stations.

Drivers will be able to pay the charge online, by phone, by test message or by the autopay method.

For more information or to give your views, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/ccyourviews

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