The Mayor of London requested that Transport for London (TfL) investigate the use of Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) cameras to charge drivers under a “pay-as-you-drive” scheme – but car users have been spared because the technology is not yet ready.
Sadiq Khan has faced continued criticism for his Ulez expansion, which will extend as far as Outer London in August, with five councils filing legal challenges.
As the Mayor attempts to combat pollution in the capital, the expansion will force 200,000 more Londoners to pay £12.50 per day.
In February, Khan urged Rishi Sunak to fund a scrappage scheme for the home counties, asking the Prime Minister to match the Mayor’s £110 million investment.
Khan has now confirmed that TfL is working on a new scheme that will use “sophisticated technology” to charge road users.
“ANPR cameras could form part of the potential operation of such a scheme, but no proposals have been developed,” Khan said in the London Assembly.
Around 2,750 new cameras will be installed as part of the Ulez expansion.
According to Tory members of the London Assembly, these measures are an early indication that Khan intends to implement road user charges.
The Mayor of London has made no secret of his support for Singapore-style toll roads, previously stating that he wanted to implement a network as part of his efforts to address the city’s poor air quality.
Singapore, he said, was the “nearest comparator” for his plan because it monitors drivers’ journeys and captures their licence plates.
The sensors then detect the time of day that drivers are travelling and charge them a toll.
However, because “the technology is not there,” it is unlikely that this will be implemented in London.