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27 April 2024
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Threat of London pay-per-mile charging scheme recedes

London Assembly report eases fears of an imminent pay-per-mile charge, focusing instead on exploring potential road user charging schemes.


Truck and van operators in London have been alarmed recently following a report in the Daily Telegraph that Mayor Sadiq Khan was investing £150 million on a ‘secret’ project, replacing outdated ULEZ and Congestion Charge ANPR technology and instead charging a pay-per-mile tax for vehicles.

Now, days after the London Assembly passed a motion opposing a London-wide, pay-per-mile scheme, a new report exploring the practical issues around any future road user charging scheme in the UK capital has been released by the London Assembly Transport Committee. And it appears that transport operator fears may prove ungrounded and that no such scheme will be introduced – at least in the short term.

Published following a two-part investigation in the 2022/23 Assembly term, the ‘Future Road User Charging in London’ report sets out recommended ways for such a scheme to go ahead, should any future mayor or government decide to proceed. It includes 11 recommendations – including ease of use and calling for all potential revenue generated to be assigned to a programme of early improvements to public transport in London, with a significant proportion delivered ahead of introduction.

The report follows a Committee Call for Evidence that received over 3,300 responses from both individuals and organisations, the highest number of responses to any London Assembly Call for Evidence in the 2022-23 Assembly term. It identified significant concerns about the prospect of any new scheme and that privacy concerns and the provision of alternative transport to driving should be key considerations.

The London Assembly Transport Committee investigation focused on examining the practical issues around the potential introduction of a future new, smarter road user charging scheme in London. It did not seek to find consensus between the cross-party members of the committee on whether or not a new road user charging scheme should be introduced, or what any scheme might look like.

Other recommendations in the report include for an open, early, wide and well-publicised public engagement exercise, allowing people to give their views on the next steps and shape any scheme.

Siân Berry, chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee throughout the investigation, said:

This report does not seek to find cross-party consensus on whether or not such a scheme should be introduced, or what any scheme might look like. Instead, our committee aimed to explore and present the issues that would need to be considered as part of the development of any future scheme alongside recommendations to any future mayor or government that was to consider introducing a new scheme.


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