Sadiq Khan considering £3.50 daily charge for drivers entering London | The Guardian
Gwynn Topham Fri 11 Dec 2020 14.33 GMT
Drivers could face a £3.50 daily charge to enter Greater London under proposals from the mayor of London to address the capital’s funding crisis.
Sadiq Khan has asked Transport for London to start feasibility studies for the plan to raise £500m a year.
The boundary charge would be levied on vehicles registered outside the capital crossing into the whole of London – an area almost 80 times larger than the central congestion zone.
An independent review into TfL’s finances, which have been badly hit by the loss of tube fares after the pandemic, suggested that road charging would be the best source of new revenue.
The review said cuts to bus services in outer boroughs, scrapping the night tube, and ending the subsidy for the “Boris bike” cycle hire scheme would provide potential savings but could inflict further congestion and economic damage.
The independent panel was commissioned by Khan during fraught negotiations with the government for emergency funding, after passengers were told to avoid public transport to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
Khan urged ministers to “play fair” by London to assure the future funding of the capital’s transport network, and to allow the capital to keep the £500m a year paid in vehicle excise duty by London-based drivers.
He said the money was spent outside London while TfL used fare income to fund maintenance of major roads in the capital.
The boundary charge could also reduce congestion and emissions and encourage greater use of sustainable transport. On an average weekday about 1.3m vehicles travel into London.