London motorists could face per journey charges
London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that motorists across the capital could be charged per journey from 2024 in a bid to improve air quality
In a statement on Monday, Khan said air pollution was “a matter of social justice,” with the Londoners who are most impacted in poorer areas also being the “least likely to own a car.”
The per-journey charges, which would come into effect from 2024 if formalized, are designed to meet requirements outlined in a new report on how the city can meet its 2030 Net Zero target. According to the document commissioned by the mayor, London must cut car journeys by a quarter if it is to hit its climate goal.
The report published by Element Energy claims that a third of London car trips could be walked in under 25 minutes and that two-thirds could be cycled in under 20 minutes.
An analysis of traffic in the capital found vehicle congestion cost London £5.1 billion ($6.94 billion) in 2021 due to a mixture of gridlocked traffic and air pollution.
The London mayor has asked Transport for London (TfL) to explore implementing a road pricing strategy that would charge motorists by distance traveled, time taken, and the area of the city in which they live.
Khan has asked TfL to see if other additional options to tackle car pollution could be introduced before 2024.
Potential options include a daily clean air charge for all journeys in Greater London, or extending the current Ultra-Low Emission Zone to all petrol and diesel cars.
Khan said he wanted to start “an earnest conversation with Londoners” about how to reduce pollution, “given the urgency of the climate crisis,” but he admitted that the technology to implement some of his bigger plans was still “years away” from being ready.