Road users in the capital should pay on a fairer and smarter per-mile basis to use London’s network a think tank report has suggested. The report created by The Centre for London argues that the capital should continue to lead the way in making the most of new technology and start to develop a simpler system of road user charging in the capital.
The report outlines the details of a new scheme which would charge drivers on a per-mile basis, based on:
Local levels of congestion and pollution
Availability of public transport alternatives.
The scheme would then be integrated with London’s wider transport system and be accessible via an app and digital platform. This, say the group, would allow Londoners to compare, plan and pay for all journeys in one place. Ultimately the hope is that it would encourage drivers to leave their cars at home when possible, by providing them with alternative travel options. The report highlights why the current system – including the Congestion Charge and ULEZ, will need updating; by 2025, London could have five separate charging schemes, with different vehicle standards, hours of operation, charge amounts and payment arrangements. This will create a confusing system for drivers to navigate. Perry Richardson, Chief Editor of TaxiPoint, said “This type of road pricing may work well for privately owned vehicles whereby journeys can be planned in advance, but questions will always be raised in regards to public journeys involving taxis if there were ever a change in policy making taxis non-exempt from paying the charge. “Taxis are compelled to legally take the shortest route which may include entering charging zones against the drivers wishes. Creating a metered per-mile charging system relating to just the miles travelled within zones will always prove a stumbling block for authorities.”