Mayor of London considering new road user charging system
A new report by Element Energy, commissioned by the Mayor of London, sets out the scale of the action required to move London towards a greener future and net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
The report sets out that to achieve anywhere near a 27 per cent reduction in car vehicle kilometres, London will need a new kind of road user charging system implemented by the end of the decade at the latest. Such a system could abolish all existing road user charges – such as the Congestion Charge and ULEZ - and replace them with a simple and fair scheme where drivers pay per mile, with different rates depending on how polluting vehicles are, the level of congestion in the area and access to public transport. Subject to consultation, it is likely there would be exemptions and discounts for those on low incomes and with disabilities, as well as consideration around support for charities and small businesses.
The Mayor recognises that London could benefit from more sophisticated types of technology to introduce this kind of simple, fair road user charging scheme and has therefore asked Transport for London to start exploring how it could be developed.
Therefore, the Mayor is considering a number of policies that could be ready within the next few years to encourage Londoners and those who drive within London to shift from polluting cars to electric vehicles, public transport and sustainable active travel, such as walking and cycling.
The potential approaches under consideration are extending the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ beyond the north and south circular roads to cover the whole of Greater London, using the current charge level and emissions standards.
Modifying the ULEZ to make it even more impactful in reducing emissions: building on the existing scheme by extending it to cover the whole of Greater London and adding a small clean air charge for all but the cleanest vehicles.
A small clean air charge: a low-level daily charge across all of Greater London for all but the cleanest vehicles to nudge behaviour and reduce the number of short journeys by car
Introducing a Greater London boundary charge, which would charge a small fee to non-London registered vehicles entering Greater London, responding to the increase in cars from outside London travelling into the city seen in recent years.
The Mayor and TfL will now begin a period of consultation with Londoners, local government and businesses about the way forward to achieving the clean, green and healthy future London and the world desperately needs.