Two days ago (on 17/01/2022) I pointed out on this blog that the Mayor’s Budget document spelled out that road pricing in London was definitely anticipated. His budgets for future years depend on it.
It became clearer what he is planning yesterday when both the BBC and London Evening Standard provided more details of the Mayor’s plan – see links below.
His proposals include a small daily charge on everyone who drives in London – perhaps £2. He claims this is required based on a report commissioned by City Hall that found that a 27% reduction in London’s car traffic was required by 2030 to meet net-zero ambitions. He has the powers to introduce this but he is also considering a London entry charge for anyone who drives in from outside. A boundary charge (of perhaps £3.5 per day) would require Government consent when they don’t currently favour it.
Longer term, by the end of the decade, he would like to introduce a pay- per-mile system although the technology to do that is not yet available.
In the meantime it looks very likely that he will extend the ULEZ to the whole of London.
The Mayor has said “I have got to make sure there is a disincentive to drive your car, particularly if it is petrol or diesel, when there are alternatives, like public transport”. Yes he would like to force everyone to use public transport which of course he has a financial incentive to advocate. It’s yet another reason to take TfL out of the control of the Mayor.
The justification for these measures is to tackle air pollution and defeat climate change. It certainly won’t do the latter and there is a very good debunking of the claims of death from air pollution on the web site Not a Lot of People Know That – see link below.
Improving air quality is certainly something the Freedom for Drivers Foundation supports but there needs to be a clear cost/benefit and the measures our national Government has been taking have been by far the most effective to reduce air pollution. London’s measures introduced by Sadiq Khan have been enormously financially damaging with very little benefit. He postures about saving the world while spending your money ineffectively.
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