‘He’ll shut London down’: MPs slam Sadiq Khan as he draws up plans for pay-per-mile scheme on the capital's roads

14 July 2023, 13:31 | Updated: 14 July 2023, 14:20

Sadiq Khan is considering a new pay-per-mile scheme for the capital.
Sadiq Khan is considering a new pay-per-mile scheme for the capital. Picture: Getty

By Jenny Medlicott

The Mayor of London is considering a pay-per-mile scheme for motorists in the capital as he prepares for ULEZ’s eventual fall in revenue.

Sadiq Khan is looking to introduce a fallback strategy for when his controversial expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zones begins to lose revenue as cars become more environmentally accommodating.

The plans would see the potential introduction of a pay-per-mile or pay-per-minute scheme on London roads – with older and more polluting vehicles being forced to pay more.

Roads minister, Richard Holden, told MPs that he had been informed by the deputy mayor of transport, Seb Dance, that the mayor was looking at how such a scheme could be implemented.

It comes after the Government’s fiscal watchdog predicted public finances will ultimately lose out on £13 billion when electric cars take over roads, resulting in a loss of fuel duty.

In the past Mr Khan has suggested London could adopt systems similar to Singapore, where sensors are used to monitor the cars travelling at peak times to charge them more.

But the new suggestion from the mayor has been slammed by MPs and campaigners who have accused Mr Khan of trying to “shut London down”.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone has faced widespread criticism from both drivers and London business owners following news of its expansion.

Currently the zone covers the 236 square miles of central and inner London out to (but not including) the North and South Circular roads.

Read more: 'He has no choice': Keir Starmer backs London mayor Sadiq Khan over controversial Ulez scheme

Read more: Sadiq Khan 'lacks the legal powers' to expand London's ULEZ, High Court told

Read more: 'Failure would be doing nothing': Sadiq Khan heckled and applauded as he defends controversial Ulez scheme

Mr Khan has faced backlash over the potential plans.
Mr Khan has faced backlash over the potential plans. Picture: Alamy

Owners of motor vehicles driven within it that don’t comply with the required environmental standards have to pay a £12.50 daily charge or face a fine.

The scheme is expected to be expanded at the end of August and rules will apply across all of Greater London’s 600 square miles.

TfL has estimated that the Ulez expansion could bring in £200 million in the first 12 months.

But as vehicles are expected to become more environmentally compliant in the coming years, the mayor is looking at the introduction of a pay-per-mile a scheme to take its place.

Steve Tuckwell, a Conservative councillor from the London Borough of Hillingdon, said: “Sadiq Khan’s plans to charge every single driver in Hillingdon with road user charging prove once again that he just ignores Outer London.

“If he gets his way, nobody will be safe from his war on motorists.”

The Ulez scheme has been criticised for being owed more money than it made, as drivers have refused to pay the penalty notices they have been issued, leaving £255 million missing from its accounts, according to The Telegraph.