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Pay-per-mile road pricing plans could double cost of driving in London

Plans to introduce pay-per-mile road pricing in London would see road charges hike up by 90%, impacting significantly on businesses, new research suggests.

London

The report says motorists could face a 90% hike in the cost of driving on London’s roads under the road pricing plans.

The report by Tony Devenish of the GLA Conservatives assesses the cost of road pricing to Londoners after TfL’s recently published draft Transport Strategy – out for consultation until 2 October – set out a target to reduce total London traffic by 10-15% by 2041, including through the possibility of road pricing.

The draft plans propose building on the forthcoming introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone and the T-charge by looking at latest forms of road user charging, including a pay-per-mile charge to address both congestion and emissions objectives.

However, according to Devenish, charging drivers 8 pence per mile – a figure mooted in a recent report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on ‘How to Abolish Traffic Jams’ – would cost motorists an additional £1.2bn per annum and would have a detrimental impact on small businesses.

Instead, the report suggests better ways to reduce congestion on London’s roads, including a review of traffic lights, encouraging home working and a focus on road works reduction.

The report comes as a pay-per-mile road tax proposal encompassing the whole of the UK has scooped this year’s Wolfson Economics Prize. The proposal is based upon the idea of a single per-mile charge based on rates dependent on the vehicle’s weight and its tailpipe emissions and is intended to provide a transparent approach to road pricing that would also incentivise fleets and drivers to move to ULEVs.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.