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 fare 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.
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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.