A report from the Centre for London thinktank has recommended scrapping the capital’s recently-introduced Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in favour of a “smarter and fairer system.”
The report, Green Light: Next generation road user charging for a healthier, move liveable, London, argues that London should replace any existing and planned road charging schemes with a single system called City Move by the report.
This would, according to the report by the Centre for London, charge motorists per mile and would apply in those areas where there is high demand of usage, as well as poor air quality.
Significantly, it would ensure rates differ depending on the public transport options in each area, while also taking into account local levels of congestion and pollution.
The rate at which motorists are charged will also depend on vehicle class and its levels of emissions.
According to the Centre for London, the technology to implement this payment scheme is available, and could be implemented by the Mayor of London.
The report states: “If London wants to remain at the forefront of transport innovation and to create a better urban environment, it needs to act now.”
The idea of the pay per mile scheme is that it would reflect the true nature of individual vehicle journeys and charge motorists and businesses based on those individual journeys.
Implemented at the start of April, the ULEZ charges cars, vans, HGVs, buses, coaches and lorries per day if they exceed the level of emissions allowed in the zone.
It is intended to reduce toxic air, and therefore reduce London’s issue on that front.
However, the Centre for London’s report states that the zone will need updating by 2025, when the streets in the capital will have a number of charging schemes for vehicle standards, creating “a confusing system for drivers to navigate.”
As a result, the report urges Sadiq Khan to develop options for a new distance-based road user charging scheme.