London roads could become pay-as-you-drive

4 minute read 1 year ago
London roads could become pay-as-you-drive

To tackle the capital's air quality, Sadiq Khan wants to implement a pay-as-you-go road style.

The Mayor of London confirmed that the ultra-low emissions zone (Ulez) would be expanded exclusively across all of Greater London. He also plans to scrap the scheme along with the congestion charge.

This has caused outrage amongst commuters as from August 2023, hundreds of thousands of motorists will begin to face a daily fee of £12.50, costing the average commuter £3,250 a year to use the road.

On 29 August, the Ulez will be expanded over 30 miles covering from Upminster to Uxbridge.

Whilst this is the current solution to tackle driving in London, Khan's vision is to implement a system of cameras that would charge road users based on their journey.

Mr Khan is planning to follow on from the system that is being used in Singapore, which has an electric road pricing system that uses sensors attached to gantries to detect number plates.

This would allow the Government to track at what time drivers are using certain roads, and it would charge them a toll based on several factors, including if they are driving during rush hour, which would be more expensive.

However, according to the Mayor of London, this is currently impossible due to a lack of infrastructure.

He said that in the future, he wants technology that allows TfL to remove the congestion charge and the Ulez and instead have drivers be charged a toll on a bespoke basis.

drivers in London

Transport for London (TfL) estimated 202,000 vehicles would be liable to pay the £12.50 Ulez fee once the area is expanded, netting over £4,500 daily.

But transport officials believe that by the end of next year, the scheme's expansion will have encouraged tens of thousands of those drivers to switch to vehicles that comply with the minimum emissions standards or use other modes of getting around such as walking, cycling or public transport.

You will have to pay the £12.50 charge if your vehicle emits a certain amount of carbon dioxide.

To avoid the charge, diesel cars and vans must generally have been registered from 2016, while most petrol models registered from 2006 are exempt.

Drivers can check the status of their vehicle by entering their registration number on TfL's website.

Mr Khan said air pollution is making Londoners 'sick from cradle to the grave', with illnesses such as cancer, lung disease, dementia and asthma.

He described the Ulez as 'transformational' and claimed extending it would mean 'five million more people will be able to breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives'.

Mr Khan said, 'Expanding the Ulez London-wide has not been an easy decision. The easy thing for me would have been to kick the can down the road.

'But in the end, public health comes before political expediency.

'Our city is being smothered by toxic air—and it's hurting and killing Londoners, leading to asthma, dementia, and even cancer. Air pollution particles have even been found in the livers and brains of unborn babies. We cannot stand idly by and allow this to continue.'

You can read more about the story by visiting, This is Money.

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