Motorists face £3.50 day by day cost to drive into Larger London


It’s one in every of a collection of choices steered to the Mayor as a means of restoring TfL’s long-term revenue, which has collapsed as a result of Covid.

  • Scrapping the Evening Tube and the “Boris bike” cycle rent scheme
  • Axing bus routes within the suburbs
  • Reforming TfL’s “costly” worker pension scheme
  • Retaining the ban on free journey for pensioners within the morning peak
  • Closing some Tube stations at weekends

Mr Khan has requested TfL officers to research the “feasibility” of introducing a £3.50 “Larger London boundary cost”, although it could not be applied for no less than two years to allow the economic system to get well from the pandemic.

It might be paid by drivers of automobiles registered exterior the 33 boroughs and could be along with the £15 congestion cost and £12.50 ultra-low emission zone (Ulez), which expands to the suburbs on October 25 subsequent yr.

There are 1.3 million car journeys each weekday into Larger London. It’s estimated {that a} £3.50 levy would elevate about £500m a yr to be reinvested within the capital’s transport community, whereas lowering incoming visitors by about 10-15 per cent.

Drivers of probably the most polluting automobiles may very well be charged extra to incentivise motorists to change to “greener” automobiles.

The proposal is seen by the Mayor as a fall-back possibility if TfL’s longstanding demand for a reform of the principles on car excise responsibility continues to be rejected by the Authorities.

London motorists pay £500m a yr in VED however solely a fraction is handed again to the capital – which means that Tube passengers successfully subsidise highway repairs in London.

Mr Khan mentioned the Authorities had didn’t “play truthful” in funding TfL after it misplaced its £700m a yr annual subsidy, forcing it to depend on fares for three-quarters of its revenue.

He mentioned: “Londoners pay £500m price of Car Excise Responsibility yearly, which is then spent on sustaining roads exterior the capital. It’s not truthful on London that our drivers ought to subsidise the remainder of the nation’s roads and get nothing in return.

“If Ministers aren’t ready to play truthful, then we might want to think about different choices to deal with this unfairness, resembling asking individuals who stay exterior London and make journeys into Larger London by automobile to pay a modest cost, which might be reinvested in London’s transport community.”

This week TfL confirmed it had no money to proceed main tasks resembling Crossrail 2, the Bakerloo line extension and the DLR extension to Thamesmead, and that the rebuilding of South Kensington Tube and the Sutton tram extension have been additionally halted. Desperately-needed new signalling on the Piccadilly line can be unfunded.

Passenger revenue this yr is just anticipated to succeed in 60 per cent of pre-pandemic ranges, and 80 per cent subsequent yr. TfL bosses are determined to discover a solution to safe long-term funding, together with for brand spanking new tasks.

Tube and bus fares are already as a result of improve by 2.6 per cent in January. TfL predicts that expenses paid by motorists will virtually treble from £408m this yr to £1.15bn by 2022/23, largely as a consequence of the Ulez enlargement.

The impartial report into TfL’s long-term funds, which is printed at present, was commissioned by the Mayor and the TfL board in July.


Sadiq Khan 

/ Jonathan Brady/PA Wire )

It mentioned further road-user charging was a “sturdy” possibility and “ought to kind a part of a balanced package deal of interventions to deal with the sustainability of London’s transport”.

The report added: “It might not be proper to extend expenses on public transport customers with out additionally addressing revenue from highway customers.”

TfL already has a community of cameras on the Larger London boundary to implement the low emission zone that applies to HGVs. Extra cameras are being put in on the North and South Round roads for the Ulez enlargement.

A public session could be required earlier than a Larger London boundary cost may very well be imposed on non-Londoners.

Immediately’s report additionally mentioned that introducing an “outer ring” to the congestion cost zone in interior London (at a decrease fee than central London) may elevate £500 million a yr.

In a listing of cost-saving “choices”, it mentioned lowering off-peak Tube providers and axing the Evening Tube – which has not run through the pandemic – would save £35m.

Closing 10 Tube stations at weekends and leaving some stations unstaffed would save £18m.

Eradicating the 150 lowest-revenue bus routes, most of that are in outer London, would save £301m. This was not advisable as it could go away many communities with out entry to public transport and would improve automobile use, however smaller reductions in bus routes may very well be “justifiable”.

Axing the Santander bike rent scheme, the Woolwich ferry – which might require a change within the legislation – and river providers would save £48m.

Persevering with the suspension of the Freedom Move within the morning peak and eradicating the 60+ cross may enhance income by £156 million.

The report mentioned that the TfL pension scheme was “outdated and should be reformed”, with £100m of financial savings achievable.

A spokesman for the Mayor mentioned the report’s authors had steered the institution of a pensions fee however added that “no-one’s pension is in danger”.

It’s thought unlikely the Mayor would scrap the Santander-sponsored bike rent scheme, which has seen document utilization since final yr and is considered a key a part of the broader TfL precedence of encouraging strolling and biking.

Professor Tony Travers, of the London College of Economics, mentioned: “The electoral logic of that is that only a few Londoners pays it.  

“Will probably be paid by individuals crossing the cordon coming into London. It’s a tax on individuals who don’t stay or vote in London. Heaven is aware of what the response of the Authorities will probably be, not that they will do something about it.

“It’s undoubtedly the case that TfL wants to search out, or is looking for, an revenue supply that can, no less than partly, make good a few of the losses of the pandemic.”

Prof Travers mentioned that a few of the proposals from the impartial consultants have been “fairly undesirable politically” – particularly wholescale cuts to the bus community, although Mr Khan did axe a number of bus routes final yr.  

He mentioned he anticipated that “not in 1,000 years” was the Authorities prone to conform to the Mayor’s want to redistribute VED in line with the place motorists lived.

Ben Rogers, director of the Centre for London thinktank, mentioned Mr Khan appeared critical about introducing the cost – which might be the “most radical factor he had carried out”.

Rob Whitehead, of the Centre for London mentioned: “On condition that the Mayor was charged by authorities with devising a plan for placing Transport for London on a financially sustainable footing, with out the necessity for a long run further grant, it’s unsurprising that this evaluation concludes new expenses are wanted. TfL’s monetary difficulties have arisen primarily due to its fare-dependent funding mannequin, which has been exhausting hit by a lack of passengers this yr.

“There’s additionally a tough justice to the proposal. London drivers pay half a billion kilos to the Treasury yearly in car and gasoline tax, with a lot of the cash spent on the nationwide highway community, nearly none of which is in London. So it’s not unfair to ask these driving in from exterior London to assist pay for its transport infrastructure.

“That mentioned, cordon-based schemes are a crude means of charging drivers for the contribution they make to congestion, air pollution and highway put on and tear. Sooner or later the Mayor and TfL are going to need to chunk the bullet and set up a distance primarily based highway consumer charging scheme for London.”

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