Yet more car tax charges for London as Sadiq Khan suggests extra £2 daily fee

Sadiq Khan grilled by NHS worker on congestion charge

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Sadiq Khan has risked the wrath of already irate drivers in London as he put forward the idea of a daily tax on petrol and diesel drivers, in addition to the existing Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and congestion charges. The ‘clean air charge’ would cost more than a bus fair and would be brought in to reduce air pollution in the capital.

Mr Khan is also considering expanding the ULEZ to include all 33 London boroughs.

The zone was only recently expanded last October.

However the mayor faced Government disagreement on his London ‘boundary charge’ that would see drivers from outside London charged £3.50 for entering.

That would seem to have been ruled out as a source of income after Transport secretary Grant Shapps objected to the idea.

Of the new daily charge, Mr Khan said: “I envisage [it] being small sum of money that would be used to nudge the behaviour of the vast majority who haven’t got the cleanest vehicles.

“I suspect the scheme that TfL may come up with is anybody who has not got an electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle may have to pay this clean air charge.

“I would imagine the sort of thing TfL would be looking at is: what is the cost of a bus fare?

“What we are trying to do is nudge people away from petrol and diesel vehicles to either walk, cycle, use public transport or, if they are going to drive, use an electric vehicle.”

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Bus fares in London are currently £1.55 per journey, however they are likely to increase in March by five percent.

TFL are looking at ways to cut car journeys in London by 27 percent by the end of the decade as suggested by a report from City Hall in order to meet targets on climate change.

There is also an aim of introducing the world’s first road-user charging scheme in London.

The Mayor needs to secure additional funding in order to meet his desire to make London ‘Net Zero’ in terms of carbon emissions by 2030.

Mr Khan said: “I have got to make sure there is a disincentive to drive your car, particularly if it is petrol or diesel, when there are alternatives, like public transport.”

He indicated he was now in favour of charging drivers according to the time of day travelled, distance travelled and level of congestion.

That’s despite previously having resisted attempts to look into smart road pricing.

He said only drivers of hybrid or electric vehicles were likely to be exempt.

But he said the new proposals were not part of TFL’s request for more money from the Government as part of a bailout.

He said: “This is not about raising revenues to fill the black hole left by the pandemic in TfL’s coffers. If it was, we would be considering other options.”

Last year the mayor called on the Government to provide £500million of extra money, “not only for the good of London, but for the whole country.”

That was on top of a £1.1 billion bailout earlier in 2021 that brought total Government support for TfL since March 2020 to more than £4 billion.

What are the new changes?

Sadiq Khan has asked TfL to look at both short-term and long-term solutions to London’s road charges

Long-term, he is aiming for a new road pricing pay per mule system to replace the current UKEZ and Congestion Charge rates.

However, the technology is unlikely to be ready anytime soon so Mr Khan has asked TfL to draw up some temporary measures.

This included a day clean air charge of £2 forall petrol and diesel journeys or an expansion of the ULEZ.

Any daily fee would be in addition to ULEZ and Congestion Charges in a blow to locals.

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