A research think tank is calling on the Mayor of London to scrap its Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in favour of a pay-per-mile system.
Nick Bowes, Centre for London chief executive, said: “A pay-per-mile road user charging scheme would improve air quality, reduce congestion, encourage Londoners to walk, cycle and use public transport, and help to plug the yawning hole in Transport for London’s budget.
“Any additional revenue could also top up the Mayor’s scrappage scheme and help Londoners exchange their polluting vehicle for a cleaner one.”
The expansion of the capital’s ULEZ started on October 25th.
Bowes continued: “The expanded ULEZ is the most ambitious scheme of its kind in the world. All eyes will be on London to watch how successful the ULEZ will be at cleaning up the capital’s air.
“However, the ULEZ has its limitations. It’s an analogue scheme in a digital age, relying on technology from 2003.
“Many petrol and diesel vehicles are still exempt from the scheme and extending the reach of a flat charge may incentivise Londoners to drive more to get value from their daily payments. And less well-off Londoners who rely on their cars for work and lack the means to switch to a cleaner vehicle will be particularly penalised.”
With the world’s eyes on COP26 Climate Change Conference, the Mayor of London should use this opportunity to “be bold” and replace a “patchwork” of road charges with a simpler, fairer scheme.
“The likelihood is that at some point in the near future the government will have to introduce a nationwide road user charging scheme to replace lost fuel duties. The Mayor should grab the opportunity to go further now so that London has a system that works for the city.”