TfL working with experts to replace ULEZ and Congestion Charge with one fee, Sadiq Khan says

By Staff

TfL is bringing in experts to work on replacing the ULEZ, LEZ and Congestion Charge with one fee to drive in London. The Mayor of London added that simplifying the current system comprised of many fees, with two others being added in the Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels next year, is an ‘attractive prize’.

But, Mr Khan suggested that this would not be a priority for him if he won a third term at City Hall on May 2, and he again ruled out the implementation of a ‘pay per mile’ system for drivers. To make things even easier, the mayor also suggested that he would like to take control of Londoners’ road tax payments as ‘very little’ is currently reinvested in London by the central government.

When asked how he would bring in one charge without a pay-per-mile model, Mr Khan told MyLondon: “Currently, the technology doesn’t exist. What we’re doing in City Hall though is working with TfL to bring in-house the work that’s currently being done by a private company. And so, at the moment, TfL procures a private company to do the work in relation to the congestion charge, the low emission zone, the ultra-low emission zone.”

READ MORE: Sadiq Khan: ‘I will never make a bid to be leader of the Labour Party’

He added: “During the course of one day, you can pay a number of different charges and stuff. So making it simple is clearly a prize that is attractive. I’m quite clear though that the policies we have in relation to the world’s biggest clean air zone, the ultra-low emission zone, in relation to some of the other policies we have are the way to make more progress.

“Road user charging is off the table. I’ve got no plans to bring in road user charging. But I am keen to make it as easy as possible for those that do drive to get around London.”

Asked if this would be a project for his third term, were he to win one on May 2, the mayor said: “No, I think TfL are looking into this, as indeed are the Department for Transport and transport authorities across the country, how we can simplify the current system.”

Khan wants control of £500 million of road tax cash

He added: “One of the things I’d like to talk to the Government about is devolving to us the monies they raise through vehicle excise duty. Drivers in London pay, roughly speaking, £500 million in what we call road tax. That road tax money goes to the Treasury very little comes back to Londoners.

“One of the conversations I want to have with Treasury is how we can simplify things, so road tax, other things.” Mr Khan added: “Imagine you’re driving, you’re paying your road tax, you’re paying charges during the course of a day. Technology can make it easier, but working with the Treasury, the DfT and others, we need to think about how we can make it easier across the country.”

Colleagues in Manchester, Birmingham – which has introduced its own clean air zone that charges drivers of certain vehicles £8 – and other parts of the country are also keen to find a system that is ‘easier to do’, the mayor added.

City Hall’s Conservative group claim that, despite Mr Khan repeatedly ruling out the introduction of a pay-per-mile model during his mayoralty, that 157 staff are ‘now working solely on the scheme’, known as ‘Project Detroit’. Neil Garratt AM said: ” Sadiq Khan emphatically ruled out an expansion of ULEZ into Outer London – then did it anyway – so we simply cannot afford to take him at his word on his future plans.

“We know that the Mayor and TfL have spent £21 million on Pay Per Mile technology so far, paving the way for a scheme which could hammer the average driver in London with more than £700 in extra charges each year. On top of the Mayor’s daily £12.50 ULEZ tax on the poorest Londoners, this scheme would hit every driver across the capital.”

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