Transport for London are planning to charge drivers to enter the capital to address their funding crises.
One idea is a charge of £3.50 which would rise to £5.50 for polluting vehicles that fail the ULEZ test. An introduction of October 2023 is proposed for cars registered outside London. Emergency service vehicles, taxis and blue badge holders would be exempt,
The charge would apply to cars registered outside London. Expect a surge in cars registered within London from those living outside.
One point of contention is that most funds raised from Vehicle Excise Duty taxes in London are spent outside the capital. TfL have asked to retain funds raised in London to spend in London – and were previously supported by senior London Tories. If they can retain more of the £500 million annually raised in London, the fee may not be introduced.
Public transport fares will also rise above inflation in March. London already has some of the highest public transport fares in the world.
A report drawn up for TfL shows average fare levels in parts of the world, with London levels some way above:
Many developed nations support public transport through general taxation to a far higher level than London and the rest of England. Devolution is also weak in England leaving little scope for many cities to raise local taxes. This has left TfL extremely reliant on fare revenue, which is now hit so badly. There is little safety net compared to other cities across the world.
The cost of pubic transport has also risen faster than annual wages in London.
Bailout funds have come with many strings attached, with much in the form of a loan that will need repaying.
Due to the way England funds transport, this means costs for drivers and public transport users look set to rise yet further.