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King of controversy Sadiq Khan asks TfL to consider pay-as-you-drive scheme for motorists in London

By Tom Gibson | March 7, 2023

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The Mayor of London faced backlash for his recent ULEZ expansion and is now looking at additional ways taxes can be distributed.

King of controversy Sadiq Khan asks TfL to consider pay-as-you-drive scheme for motorists in London

Sadiq Khan has asked TfL to create a plan that uses 'sophisticated technology' to charge road users based on their mileage.

Seemingly intent to progress on with his ULEZ expansion despite fierce opposition from the vast majority of Londoners, the Mayor is already dreaming up his next money spinner to help cover a reported debt which currently stands at £13bn.

Speaking at the London Assembly this week in response to a question, he said: 'ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras could form part of the potential operation of such a scheme but no proposals have been developed.'

As part of the ULEZ expansion, there will be an additional 2,750 additional cameras installed across London with around 10% of that work already complete.

When discussing his plans to potentially use these cameras to support a pay-per-mile scheme, he said the nearest comparison how he envisages the payment system to work would be Singapore, where sensors attached to gantries over roads capture number plates and issue charges.

A mayoral answer last week is understood to have said the latest any new system is introduced should be no later than the end of the decade, while TfL began hiring software engineers last summer.

But a spokesperson for Mr Khan said the road user charging scheme is just one of multiple options being assessed and would look at the availability of public transport in the given area, along with employment and income.

A statement added: 'Any formal proposals which could be developed in the future would be subject to consultation with information provided on detailed scheme proposals and their likely impacts.'

It comes as furious drivers earlier this week slammed the Mayor after he branded some ULEZ opponents 'far-Right' and 'Covid deniers' for disagreeing with his zone expansion.

When confronted on the subject during a highly charged debate, Khan: 'Some of you have got good reasons to oppose ULEZ, but you are in coalition with Covid deniers... you may not like it... you are in coalition with the far-Right. And you are in coalition with vaccine deniers as well.'

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