Porsche today announces a formal victory in its legal campaign to prevent the introduction of a £25 charge on larger vehicles driving in London. The Administrative Court in London has quashed the increase to the charge. Porsche has been awarded legal costs – expected to be a six figure sum – which will be donated to Skidz, a charity devoted to taking at-risk youths off the streets and a life of knife crime, and giving them training in mechanical skills and maintenance.
Upon taking office, new London Mayor Boris Johnson’s legal team accepted that the previous Mayor, Ken Livingstone, should have taken into account research from King’s College which showed that the new charge would actually increase CO2 emissions in Greater London. The research, discovered by Porsche in its legal correspondence with the previous Mayor, indicated that the new charge would see an increase in car mileage. On the basis of this, the Mayor’s lawyers decided that the proposed new charge could, in fact, be unlawful.
Andy Goss, Managing Director of Porsche Cars Great Britain, said; “We were always confident that our legal case was right and that we would win in the end. The charge was clearly unfair and was actually going to increase emissions in London . Porsche is proud to have played a decisive role in striking down such a blatantly political tax increase targeting motorists.”
Porsche said at the outset of the legal campaign that the proposed charge was divisive and would be bad for London . With this in mind, Porsche is donating its costs to Skidz, a charity with a proven success record of taking at-risk young people and providing them with mechanical skills and training that can lead to future employment and away from a life of knife crime. Skidz, which already operates five programmes across England , will use the funding to launch a new London-based branch in the Borough of Hillingdon.
Goss, commenting on the donation to Skidz, said; “All along our decision to fight against this increased charge on Londoners was based on our firm belief that it would be bad for London . We are pleased to now be able to give back to London by donating our costs to a cause that concerns all of us, reducing knife crime.”
Steve Godfrey, Project Director at Skidz, said; “We are hugely grateful for the donation Porsche has made. It will have a huge impact on our work, allowing us to reach young people in London for the first time.”
Porsche began its judicial review proceedings by issuing a letter to Mayor Ken Livingstone on 19 February 2008.
The King’s College reported demonstrated that the proposed charge would result in an increase of CO2 emissions in Greater London of 182,000 tonnes.
A consent order – quashing the increase to the charge – is a formal agreement, drawn up between parties, to resolve legal proceedings and marks the end of proceedings when approved by the Court. The amount of costs that Porsche is to receive is yet to be determined.
Skidz is a registered charity that creates opportunities for young people to participate in challenging activities that offer new experiences, enhance skills and build a sense of achievement and self-esteem. By allowing access to a workshop environment in which young people can learn skills in motor mechanics and allied trades, Skidz assists them in gaining employment or progression into training.