Transport secretary Grant Shapps appeared to dismiss a threat by Sadiq Khan to impose a daily charge on motorists entering Greater London.The mayor has proposed a 'Boundary Charge' of between £3.50 and £5.50 to plug a hole in Transport for London's (TfL) finances.The toll, to be introduced in October 2023, would apply to any vehicle registered outside London which crossed the boundary between 6am and 7pm.But Mr Shapps, questioned by MPs on Wednesday, indicated he had serious concerns about forcing people from outside the capital to fund London's transport system.
"We can't have a situation where a devolved administration in one place essentially just pins the cost on people who live elsewhere.
"It is very much a taxation without representation issue. We'd have serious concerns about that," he said.
Mr Khan says he would prefer the government to give him the £500m Vehicle Excise Duty paid annually by Londoners.
Mr Shapps suggested that was unlikely to happen.`
A Mayor of London spokesperson said: "The Mayor has repeatedly urged ministers to allow London to retain the £500m Vehicle Excise Duty paid by Londoners every year but which is currently spent almost exclusively on maintaining roads outside the capital."TfL has received government bailouts totalling £3.3bn since the start of the pandemic and estimates it needs a further £3bn to stay afloat during the next financial year.Mr Shapps admitted coronavirus had "decimated" TfL's finances.