Fleet operators could face a 90% increase in the cost of driving on London’s roads under plans put forward by the Mayor of London, a new report suggests.
Sadiq Khan’s transport strategy, published in June, outlined a user-charging scheme based on miles driven in London to improve air quality and to cut congestion.
Some journeys would cost more – at busier times of day, in more congested areas or in more polluting vehicles – while others would cost less, such as shorter journeys in low emission vehicles in quieter areas outside peak hours. The new, integrated per mile charge would replace pre-existing schemes, such as the Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), with a single, unified system which takes into account both congestion and emissions objectives.
However, a report published by the GLA Conservatives, claims that a driver paying annual Congestion Charge fees of £273 could see the cost of driving increase to £519 a year.
The overall increase from the Congestion Charge to motorists in London totals £1.2 billion.
'The Road Ahead:Cutting London’s Congestion without penalising drivers', by Tony Devenish AM, suggests better ways to reduce congestion on London’s roads, including a review of traffic lights, encouraging home working and a focus on road works reduction.
London Assembly member Devenish said: “The Mayor appears intent on making it financially impossible to drive in London. Road pricing would have a hugely detrimental impact on small businesses and motorists who rely on their vehicles to get around our city.
“Clearly congestion and air quality needs to improve. But using penalty charges to drive cars off the road throws the baby out with the bathwater.
“The Mayor should be looking at more sensible ways of improving traffic flow in our city, such as those proposed in my report.”