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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan backs plan to charge drivers levy for 'needless trips to shops'

Motorists may very well be charged to drive to the retailers underneath plans backed by Saqid Khan to discourage “needless” car use.

The Mayor has given his assist to a name for London to introduce road-user charging, which might set a levy primarily based on the space and time of day travelled.

Supporters say that charging drivers to make journeys that may very well be walked, cycled or made by public transport would finish many years of “the car being king”.

The thought has been proposed by Camden council transport chief Adam Harrison, who’s overseeing the transformation of Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street into two-way streets that prioritise pedestrians and public transport.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has backed the plans (Reuters/Henry Nicholls )

In an article for the Fabian Society, Mr Harrison in contrast driving half a mile to the retailers to “the cheeky cigarette you know you shouldn’t be having”.

He mentioned: “The fact is that reclaiming London’s streets for public use over non-public domination will make London a greater metropolis.

“A nuanced charging system may very well be variable by time of day, the kind of journey being made, the automobile used and the options accessible.

“The journey in a clear automobile with no cheap strolling, biking or public transport options may very well be charged at a low fee, or under no circumstances, whereas the useless drive down to the retailers may very well be charged extra.”

Mr Khan mentioned he wished to keep away from a “war on motorised road users” and road-user charging would have to exchange automobile excise responsibility, which prices London motorists £500m a 12 months.

Any new system would additionally incorporate the congestion charge and extremely low emission zone (Ulez) right into a single levy.

Mr Khan has requested Transport for London to examine the know-how accessible to introduce road-user charging, however mentioned it will not be launched “in the short term”.

He instructed the Standard: “We are going to proceed to spend money on new applied sciences across the extremely low emission zone however look into what is accessible in relation to know-how round road-user pricing.

“What you may’t afford to do is to have London motorists being penalised twice — paying automobile excise responsibility and road-user pricing.

“Once we’re assured in relation to road-user pricing, if councils like Camden need to take a look at it or pilot it, of course I might be pleased to work with them.” London is due to maintain its biggest-ever Car-Free Day this Sunday when greater than 340 residential roads throughout 24 boroughs can be changed into “play streets”. 

The centrepiece of the occasion, backed with £1m from City Hall, would be the closure of Tower Bridge and Bank junction, with festivals at each places.

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