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London road-charging scheme ‘not on the table’ says Khan

Mayor of London rules out a pay-per-mile system in the capital, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Sadiq Khan has insisted that there are no plans “on the table” for a ‘pay-per-mile’ system of road user charging.

While the mayor admitted that Transport for London (TfL) officials have been looking into the concept, that doesn’t mean the idea will necessarily be taken forward, he said.

The proposal – to use technology to charge drivers for their road use depending on factors like distance travelled, time taken and emissions released – was set out as potential future development in Khan’s 2018 transport strategy.

The mayor said yesterday (Tuesday 29th) it was “no secret” that the idea has been explored in recent years, both by the government and by successive mayors.

“Rishi Sunak, when he was chancellor, talked about a nationwide scheme,” the mayor said. “I’m quite clear though – yes, TfL have done some work into this, the government’s done some work into this […] but it’s not on the table as far as I’m concerned.

“There are other things I’ll be doing though – the biggest clean air zone in the country, yes.

“But also more electric buses, more electric charging points, planting more trees, rewilding our city.”

Asked why the concept was not on his agenda, he said: “A variety of reasons, not least the technology is just not there.

“There’s no other city that does it, [and they] won’t do it for some time. But also, you need to do it with the support of the Treasury.”

On the question of whether it was a scheme City Hall officers were still investigating, he said: “TfL officials, under my mayoralty and the previous mayor, Boris Johnson, have been looking at all sorts of schemes. It doesn’t mean the mayor accepts them.”