Most Londoners will have heard of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) by now.
But there’s another charge on the horizon that you might not know about.
A radical new fee for drivers is on the table to plug a hole in Transport for London ’s finances.
It comes as a doomsday scenario from TfL’s finance committee on Wednesday (November 17) said that a £500 million-a-year funding hole would need to be paid “either through the devolution of vehicle excise duty paid by Londoners, or from the net proceeds of a potential Greater London Boundary Charge”.
READ MORE: What you need to know about ULEZ, how much it will cost and where it will affect
The first option – devolving vehicle excise duty cash – would effectively mean the Treasury handing over £600 extra to London a year, something ministers may be reluctant to do.
That means a new boundary charge is very much on the cards.
(Image: Google Maps)
The current plans would see people charged £3.50 a day to drive into the capital from outside the London border.
TfL says it would help further contribute to a “green recovery for London” by reducing the number of vehicles entering the capital, raising around £500m every year.
The boundary charge would apply on top of existing fees like the Congestion Charge and the £12.50 ULEZ charge, further adding to non-Londoners’ headaches when entering the capital.
It could save Londoners from facing far higher bus and tube fares to plug the funding gap.
But it could also hit businesses in outer London which currently bring in visitors from outside the capital.
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell told MyLondon a boundary charge would be “devastating” for his East London borough of Havering.
Romford in Havering is currently a town centre for many in neighbouring Essex – but residents could look to Southend instead to avoid a new £3.50 a day fee in the capital.
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Sadiq Khan confirmed on Thursday that a boundary charge was “one of the options we’re considering”.
“I’m not running towards this. [But] £500m is a big ask for us,” he said at Mayor’s Question Time.
Mr Khan told the London Assembly: “London’s recovery is contingent on getting the money it needs to provide a world-class transport service.”
Opposing the plans, Croydon and Sutton Assembly Member Neil Garrett said the money raised from the £3.50 charge itself would be very small, with most of the actual cash coming from fines.
And Romford Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell said: “The imposition of a boundary charge would add insult to injury for the people of Romford and Havering who have simply had enough of this Zones 1-3 Mayor.”
On Tuesday (November 23), the London Assembly will scrutinise Sadiq Khan’s budget plans for next year. Expect this one to come up.
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