Author Topic: Road User Charging -TfL  (Read 221 times)

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John U.K.

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Road User Charging -TfL
« on: November 19, 2023, 03:40:55 pm »

London drivers paid nearly £2.7bn in charges over last five years[/b]

Telegraph analysis reveals the total spend by motorists on Ulez, congestion charge and Lez through fines and daily fees has surged
By Jack Simpson, Transport Correspondent 18 November 2023 • 1:38pm

Drivers in London have been forced to pay nearly £2.7 billion over the last five years on road user charges, it can be revealed.
Analysis by The Telegraph has found that the total spend by motorists in that period on Ulez, the congestion charge and Lez through fines and daily charges hit a staggering £2.67bn.
   Last year alone, Transport for London (TfL) received nearly £956m from the three charges, which marks a near four-fold increase from the £234m raised in 2019.
   Louie French, the Conservative MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, said: “Sadiq Khan’s war on the motorist shows little sign of ending and these eye watering sums highlight again how he has sought to fill the blackhole in TfL’s finances from the pockets of hardworking drivers in London and the South East.”
   The new figures come after driving in London became even more expensive in August, with the Ulez zone expanded to all boroughs.
   New tolls for the Blackwall and Silvertown Tunnel are also set to be introduced in 2025, which could cost £8.50 to travel through.
   An increasing number of London councils are also introducing emissions-based parking, which could see some drivers having to pay more than £1,000 a year just to park their cars.
   The Telegraph’s analysis of TfL annual accounts since 2019/20 reveals that when the £2.7bn is offset by the costs of setting up and running the schemes, more than £1.5bn has entered the transport body’s coffers.
Ulez, which costs £12.50 per day for non-compliant cars, is the biggest revenue earner, having netted £931m for Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, since April 2019.   
   The total amount paid by drivers has continued to grow, with the revenue hitting £480m last year, more than double the £225m made the year before.   And this figure is set to increase further with the expansion of the Ulez zone to all 32 London boroughs.  Mr Khan’s own projections expect the expanded zone to net £459m in the next financial year, or £180m when costs are factored in. This will grow to £666m in 2024/25, or £198m with costs.
It is only by 2027 that the Mayor expects the income from Ulez to be negligible. 
   Ulez for inner London was the brainchild of Boris Johnson when he was London mayor and was supported by Mr Khan, who brought it in a year earlier than planned.   
   The Congestion Charge, which costs £15 for motorists to enter central London, was brought in by Ken Livingstone, and has collected £358m from drivers in the past five years.   Lez, which was also brought in by Mr Livingstone, is exclusively for commercial vehicles and can charge up to £300 a day for entering central London. Drivers have paid £169m over five years.   
   TfL insists the money made from Ulez is being reinvested into running and improving London’s transport network. But opposition politicians have accused the Mayor of using it to fix TfL’s huge multi-billion pound debt.   
Keith Prince, the Tory transport spokesman at City Hall, said: “As the self-appointed Chair of TfL, Sadiq Khan has turned TfL into a financial basket case with debt of £14bn.   “As Mayor, he is waging war on motorists to try to plug the blackhole he created in TfL’s finances. Expanding Ulez to outer London is expected to earn TfL around £500m in the first year. New tolls on both the Blackwall and Silvertown tunnels will bring in additional revenue.”   
   Mr French added: “London is now officially the slowest city in the world to drive and Sadiq Khan is planning to further hammer motorists by introducing a toll on the Blackwall Tunnel from 2025.   “Mr Khan now wants to charge drivers up to £8.50 per crossing, which could see van drivers from Bexley having to pay over £40 per day to work in central London. £15 congestion charge, £12.50 Ulez and £17 toll (up to £8.50 each way).”   
   A TfL spokesperson said: “The Ultra Low Emission Zone and other road charging schemes in London, such as the congestion charge, are vital in tackling the triple challenges of air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion.   “The health benefits of cleaner air will save the NHS billions of pounds and the Mayor’s policies will reduce the enormous costs of congestion on London’s economy, estimated at £5.7bn last year.   It’s expected that the Ulez will generate no surplus within a few years and in the meantime any income is being reinvested back into public transport to bring better services, including walking and cycling routes, the bus network in outer London – such as the roll out of the Superloop network, and funding to London’s boroughs so they can improve their roads.”

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