Sadiq Khan could ‘force pay-per mile plan on Londoners’ | UK | News

London’s motorists may be forced to pay-per-mile by 2030 in order to meet Sadiq Khan’s “accelerated” plan to hit net zero, documents reveal.

In an official report, the Labour mayor said that his lofty decarbonisation ambitions were “only possible” by slapping drivers with fines.

Last week, Mr Khan once again backed the plans, which were first mooted two years ago.

With less than two weeks until the London mayoral election on May 2, the 53-year-old Mayor has been jousting Tory candidate, Susan Hall, over whether he is plotting to bring in pay-per-mile charging.

According to The Telegraph, Mr Khan’s official transport strategy includes a commitment to “investigate proposals for the next generation of road-user charging”.

Despite Mr Khan claiming he has “ruled out” instituting pay-per-mile charging, his Conservative critics argue that the mayor has conceded that meeting his ambitious climate target by 2030 requires charging road users.

The Mayor first presented London’s 2030 net zero target in 2020 and put it in his 2021 manifesto. If he was successful, the capital would be net zero twenty years before the Government’s national target.

In his latest manifesto, released on Thursday, he said: “We have an ambitious target of making London a net zero-carbon city by 2030 – faster than any comparable city”.

Under plans presented by Element Energy, commissioned by the Mayor to identify “pathways” to net zero, the group’s report said that “all scenarios would benefit from London-wide road user charging being introduced as early as possible”, with charging “one of the key early building blocks of any package”.

The Tooting-born Mayor opted for an “accelerated green” plan that will leave 22 per cent “residual emissions” by 2030, which will need to be offset. The element energy report says this needs “London-wide road-user charging” from the “mid-late 2020s”.

Formally replying to the 2022 report, Mr Khan said: “The scale of reductions required – a 27 per cent reduction in vehicle kilometres according to the ‘accelerated green’ scenario – is only possible with some form of road user charging.”

He went on: “Such a system could abolish all existing road user charges – such as the Congestion Charge and ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) – and replace them with a simple and fair scheme where drivers pay per mile, with different rates depending on how polluting vehicles are, the level of congestion in the area and access to public transport.”

In addition, Mr Khan’s 2023 book, Breathe, says “we have plans to introduce a new, more comprehensive, road user charging system”.

However, a spokesman for Mr Khan said: “Sadiq has repeatedly and categorically ruled out pay-per-mile for as long as he is mayor. It will not be introduced in London, despite misleading statements from the Tories saying otherwise.

“The road-user charging scheme was originally proposed by Boris Johnson as mayor and by Rishi Sunak as chancellor.

“Sadiq has repeatedly ruled out any such scheme while he is mayor.”

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