Sadiq Khan’s Denial of “Pay-Per-Mile” System
Introduction to Sadiq Khan’s Stance
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has once again refuted any plans to implement a “pay-per-mile” system for drivers in the city, asserting that it will not be introduced during his tenure as mayor. The notion of charging individuals based on the distance they travel was initially mentioned in Khan’s 2018 transport strategy as a potential replacement for existing schemes like the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
Recent Statements by Mayor Khan
In recent weeks, Mayor Khan had stated that there were no immediate plans to introduce such a system. However, during a Mayor’s Question Time session on Thursday, he emphasized that it would not be implemented as long as he held the office.
Reference to TfL Board Meeting Papers
The issue was raised during the session by Conservative Assembly Member Emma Best, who referred to Transport for London (TfL) board meeting documents from March 2022. These documents indicated that the mayor had requested TfL to develop proposals for consolidating existing road user charging schemes into a simplified and equitable pay-per-mile system by the end of the decade.
Mayor Khan’s Response
In response, Mayor Khan explained that examining the concept of pay per mile was part of exploring alternative revenue generation methods, a process also undertaken by the previous mayor and other transportation authorities across the country. He clarified that while it was a topic of investigation, he had no concrete plans to implement it.
Reference to Previous Requests
Emma Best pressed further, referencing a November 2022 media briefing in which Mayor Khan mentioned a “Singapore scheme.” This scheme was described as one that could differentiate charges based on the time and distance of travel, which seemed reminiscent of a pay-per-mile system. However, Mayor Khan clarified that he was not ruling out changes to existing road user charging systems in London if they could be simplified.
Consideration of Simplification
Mayor Khan expressed openness to simplifying London’s congestion charge, ULEZ, Low Emission Zone (LEZ), and tolls in the Silvertown tunnel. He stated that if a more streamlined approach could be developed, where multiple charges could be consolidated into one, he would consider it.
Discussion of Future Charge Adjustments
The discussion also touched on the possibility of increasing or decreasing charges related to existing road user charging systems in the future. Mayor Khan did not rule out the potential for adjustments but reiterated that TfL’s advice would be considered before any decisions were made. He emphasized that TfL advises, and he decides, signaling his role in the decision-making process.