ULEZ extension to all of London? TfL to study options

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has mooted plans to extend ULEZ to cover all of London or introduce a £2 charge for petrol and diesel vehicles in London.

It’s one of four measures Transport for London have been asked to examine.

Bus and cycling are to be encouraged according to Khan

The measures however contradict his recent actions including shortening the operating times next month of the Congestion Charge – costing up to £60 million a year – and adopting the longest ever Christmas and new year break in charging.

He has also pressed ahead with the Silvertown Tunnel. While most of the cost is a PFI-type deal that sees private consortium Riverlinx fund the tunnel and charge tolls on Blackwall Tunnel and Silvertown Tunnel to recoup costs, TfL are paying significant set-up costs.

Recent TfL report

So far they’ve spent £62 million and set to spend another £113 million at a time of budget cuts and reduced services.

Any new charge could also reduce traffic at the tunnel. While this may be good for congestion, would TfL be on the hook for compensation to Riverlinx?

Silvertown tunnel in Greenwich where two tunnels converge onto existing road network

The Mayor stated: “I suspect the scheme that TfL may come up with is anybody who has not got an electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle may have to pay this clean air charge.”

Whether a scrappage scheme would be introduced as it was with ULEZ remains to be seen. If so, it wouldn’t be cheap.

ULEZ boundary at present

 

Extending ULEZ to cover all of London may also see minimal income if introduced in a couple of years. More than 90 per cent of vehicles are exempt from paying the current fee. By 2024, that figures will be approaching 100 per cent. Will it be made more stringent?

There’s lots of questions for TfL to answer under this directive from Sadiq Khan, as a target of net zero by 2030 is sought.

A longer term aspiration may be a pay-per-mile road charging scheme rather than a flat charge regardless of miles.

 

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John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

13 thoughts on “ULEZ extension to all of London? TfL to study options

  • January 18, 2022 at 12:22 pm
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    Ah Sadiq, how much you remind me of the boy in school who freely insulted everyone, and when caught would scramble backwards saying ‘no I said that about him not you!’.

    At this stage I’m convinced that he has neither clue nor care, wilfully or blissfully ignorant of the harm his every utterance causes, to say nothing of his eventual actions. At least he’s not Prime Minister, we don’t want Sadiq failing upwards

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  • January 18, 2022 at 1:15 pm
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    I’m in two minds about Khan, dislike his acceptance of Silvertown for sure, uncertain he is taking knife crime seriously enough, but a lot of powers for a London Mayor were removed by central (Tory) Govt, and most residents do not realise that. One thing is for sure, the Tory option for mayor would have been a nightmare, a two-faced option appealing to only issues for vote catching (generally the car driving masses) according to latest polls, not looking at the longer term future of making London a green and pleasant city of the future for the young professional money generators. And I speak as an older resident who is simply concerned about the environment here with cleaner air and other pollution issues at the forefront, bur efficient public transport also being a must have to go along with cycling/walking.

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  • January 18, 2022 at 6:16 pm
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    Whilst I support green initiatives, I already pay vehicle tax based on emissions, as well fuel tax (which proportionally you pay more if you have a polluting vehicle). We’ve just had ULEZ. Paying to use the roads as well is going to far. I can’t afford an electric car yet, and besides, last time I checked the vast majority of the TFL bus fleet is diesel. Should also remind Khan that it isn’t just the Silvertown tunnel he’s approved but also overturned London City Airport expansion after Johnson previously blocked it, so I the cynic in me thinks this is more a fund raising exercise than concern for emissions.

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  • January 18, 2022 at 7:03 pm
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    Additional road taxes arnt great if the infrastructure for cycling is still woeful. Should it be safer to cycle then more costs should be piled onto car drivers but with Woolwich and greenwich lacking any cycle infrastructure whatsoever sadiq can get on with using the funding pot he just created first.

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  • January 18, 2022 at 7:10 pm
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    @Charles Calthrop: the low emission zone plan was that of Boris Johnson which Sadiq Khan continued when he came into office.

    I’m not bothered about moaning drivers shouting the odds about the non-existent right to drive. The air quality in the capital is toxic to the thousands, if not hundreds’ of thousand, with respiratory problems and any move to alleviate this is a welcome one in my eyes.

    @Matt w: do you know of some other Woolwich and Greenwich since you don’t appear to know about the segregated cycle lane.

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  • January 18, 2022 at 7:37 pm
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    @anonymous201481, ‘the’ segregated cycle lane pretty much sums it up though. We’ve got stop-start provision between Plumstead and Greenwich town centre before it turns into CS4 proper, and then nothing else that warrants a mention. Matt might be wrong to say there’s no infrastructure whatsoever, but it’s not far off.

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  • January 19, 2022 at 8:36 am
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    We give him and inch and his taken a mile. Now in my eyes as a driver and cyclist, the ‘incentives’ are just not there at all. Now his wanting to charge for the use of electric power cars as well? There’s nothing but tax upon tax upon tax and we have yet still remain to see the ‘benefits’ of these ‘incentives’. The cycle lane is as mentioned, beyond a joke. The structure and flow is shabby, clearly not designed by a road user with the knowledge of the road in order for it to work well for cyclists and drivers, but some pencil pusher who has no road experience. Again, we’ve all overlooked the point as mentioned above, we bang on about clean air, these so called clean air buses are diesels. Now someone please tell me where this becomes an incentive, not for me.
    What would be more of an incentive would be for Sadiq Khan to reduce the cost of boarding all public transport rather then hiking the prices up. I’m going back some years, but I remember a bus journey costing just 70 pence. If he where to do that, I think the flood gates would open up with a fair amount of people ditching there cars for public transport. Instead the costs remain high and going higher and then charging drivers extra taxes upon extra taxes to bail TFL out. My question to Sadiq Khan would be, now you’ve pushed all the drivers off the road because you can no longer afford to run a car, there’s no drivers left, how you gonna get your tax budgets, Next step charging cyclists to use the roads and then taxing them? Seems to be looking and might well be going that way in the future.

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  • January 19, 2022 at 9:13 am
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    Taking the bus in London is so cheap and reliable. £1.60 and you can go from one side of this enormous city to the other. Everywhere is connected up and most services run every few minutes or so all day long. I would prefer that it were free but, given how cheap and reliable it is, there is really very little need for a car in most parts of London. If you had ever tried to take a bus anywhere else in the UK, you wouldn’t complain about London buses.

    So I say tax the hell out of driving. The problem with driving is that it is relatively cheap for the user, who gets all the benefits, while everyone else picks up the tab for the downsides (pollution, road maintenance, increased congestion). After factoring in all of that and, yes, the existing taxes, car use is still massively under taxed.

    Consider Uber Eats/Deliveroo/Amazon and the like. They make all of their money scooting around on publicly maintained roads, causing congestion and belching out harmful pollution, but they pay next to no tax in the UK or London to maintain those roads or pay for the healthcare of those made unwell by their pollution.

    As for buses using diesel, that is unfortunate and work is needed to electrify, but even if a London bus uses 10x the diesel of a car, it is still at least 7x less polluting and more efficient than a car because the bus takes at least 70 people whereas a car tends to carry 1 person.

    I would even go one step further and ban car use altogether at peak times. Free up the roads for buses and cyclists, and everyone who insists on using their car can wait until 9.30am. Naturally, with exemptions for the mobility-impaired

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  • January 19, 2022 at 10:26 am
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    It’s too simplistic to say you can use public transport instead of a car. Yes London’s transport is very good, I don’t particularly like driving in London and my car can sometimes sit idle for up to 2 weeks at a time as for most journeys TFL is suitable, but there are instances where having a car is invaluable. I went to B&Q in Charlton yesterday – that journey is not practical for me by bus. Nor is a 10 minute round car trip to Royal Mail DO which takes over an hour using buses (plural). Big supermarket shops and trips to recycling centre – furniture shops etc, why do we need to regress to public transport or taxis for certain journeys that are more practical by car? And ok, it might be that occasionally using a car will only cost £2 a day but I’m already paying vehicle and fuel duty so why in principle should I pay a third tax? Especially when electric vehicles are set to be exempt – in other words the wealthiest in society who can afford the current high costs of electric vehicles won’t be hit.

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  • January 19, 2022 at 11:37 am
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    For the most part, you can use public transport. I am also a car owner and driver, but often take the bus if I’m not doing a big shop or going to the DIY shed where I need the car.

    I do live within two minutes of the bus stops nearest to my home, so that helps. The slight downside is that being in zone 3, I often need two buses to get to my destination. Gone are the days when I would walk down the hill to Lewisham town centre for buses to here, there and everywhere.

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  • January 19, 2022 at 3:46 pm
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    If using a car is invaluable to you in those instances, then no amount of tax levied on that use will stop you from using it.

    Also, while you may find it convenient to use a car for those purposes, it is not essential, and probably not even that much more convenient. Given the traffic around here, a 10 minute round trip by car would probably take you no more than 20 minutes by bike or 40 minutes on foot.

    You should pay because you’re using a service that is paid for out of general taxation (the roads), taking up space on the road from other users and polluting the atmosphere. I agree that electric vehicles shouldn’t be exempt because the first two apply to them too.

    The final reason that you should “regress” to public transport, even when a car may be more practical, is that if everybody did that, the roads would clog up immediately, nobody would get anywhere and we would all choke to death. There is just not enough space or clean air in our tiny patch of England for 8 million people to drive anywhere they please. It needs to be rationed, much more so than at present. The most efficient way to ration is put a price on it. That way, when it’s essential or much more practical, by all means take your car and pay your dues. But for the rest or us the rest of the time who are not clog the roads with our cars or the skies with our fumes, we shouldn’t have to pay, and space on the roads should be given over to us so that we can go about our business

    Public transport should be better connected, faster, and cheaper. It gets faster by taking cars off the roads. It gets better connected and cheaper by raising general taxes to pay for an essential public service, as we do on the roads.

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  • January 19, 2022 at 6:34 pm
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    @John you’re completely missing my point. I already “pay my dues” through vehicle tax and fuel duty. Just because the Treasury decides to roll that in with general taxation and not segregate the funds for road maintenance doesn’t mean we should all have to pay again for a third time. And I’m quite aware how long things take by foot versus car, if it’s quicker by foot I’ll walk. But next time you need to buy a chest of drawers from IKEA I wish you luck on the bus, you can patronise all the other bus riders about the how the price mechanism has made you all take the bus.

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  • January 20, 2022 at 4:57 pm
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    ‘… next time you need to buy a chest of drawers from IKEA I wish you luck on the bus …’. 😂 Assuming the driver lets you on, getting it from the bus stop to home will present some interesting challenges.

    Reply

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