New car tax changes ‘cannot be allowed to happen’ as experts warn of a ‘financial wall’

Sadiq Khan outlines why ULEZ has come into force in London

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Conservative MP Gareth Johnson has attacked the proposals which he warns could put a “financial wall” between Kent and London. The Conservatives say the scheme would hurt families, business and key public sector workers.

They warn the new charge would affect the lowest-paid members of the community and is Sadiq Khan “at his worst”.

Mr Johnson said: “This proposal by the Mayor of London would put up a literal financial wall between Kent and London.

“If this proposal goes ahead, any motorist would have to pay at least £3.50 seven days a week simply for moving from Kent into London.

“It cannot be allowed to happen, we have got to do everything we can to stop this because this is Sadiq Khan at his worst.”

Dartford Conservatives teamed up with their colleagues in Bexley this weekend to protest against the proposals.

They made banners urging drivers to “hoot to say no” and warning of “checkpoint Crayford”.

Over 26,000 have signed Dartford Conservatives’ online petition against the new proposals.

Peter Fortune, candidate for Bexley and Bromely has warned the new proposals from the mayor of London could “hammer families”.

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He said: “We are opposing Sadiq Khan’s bonkers charge that would leave drivers paying £5.50 to drive into London.

“It is going to hammer our businesses and friends and families who are going about their daily lives and visiting relatives.

“The idea is crazy, it has to be stopped.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has repeatedly threatened to introduce the charge if he does not get access to the £500million in Vehicle Excise Duty paid by London drivers.

They have previously claimed the new scheme could generate up to £500million a year which could be used to support sustainable travel.

This would include bus enhancements and new walking and cycling schemes.

The Mayor’s spokesperson said a £3.50 a day charge would reduce London’s weekday car traffic by around five percent.

They said around 1.3million vehicle tips were made from outside London into the capital each day.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London previously said a “feasibility study” into the scheme was already underway.

They said: “The Mayor has repeatedly urged the Government to allow London to retain the £500m of Vehicle Excise Duty paid by Londoners every year but which is currently spent almost exclusively on maintaining roads outside the capital.

“If the Government do not agree, other ways of raising money to overcome the unprecedented financial challenges TfL faces as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic may be needed.

“A Greater London Boundary Charge for non-residents could reduce congestion and emissions whilst encouraging more use of public transport.

“Revenues could also provide funding for investment in London’s transport network.

“Subject to the findings of TfL’s feasibility study, already underway, any proposals developed as a result would be subject to a full public consultation where the public – including non-Londoners – would be able to have their say on any potential proposals.”

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