London mayor Sadiq Khan's pay per mile plan and daily charge for London drivers to cut pollution

London mayor Sadiq Khan explains his plan to encourage drivers to switch from traveling by car to cycling, walking and using public transport

Londoners could be charged more money to drive in the capital in a radical attempt to force them out of their cars.

Mayor Sadiq Khan unveiled a series of options on Tuesday to slash car traffic by more than a quarter before the end of the decade.

They include extending the Ultra Low Emission Zone to all 32 London boroughs and adding a further daily £2 "clean air charge".

He also proposed a ‘boundary charge’ for drivers entering the capital in a vehicle registered outside London.

The fees would eventually be replaced by road pricing where drivers pay per mile - but the technology was said to be ‘years away’.

Mr Khan insisted ‘bold’ measures were needed to cut pollution and congestion and achieve his target of making London carbon net-zero by 2030.

Traffic pollution is to blame for the premature death of almost 4,000 Londoners a year, according to City Hall.

Officials said car use in London had increased since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We simply don’t have time to waste," said Mr Khan.

He added: "We have too often seen measures to tackle air pollution and the climate emergency delayed around the world because it’s viewed being too hard or politically inconvenient but I’m not willing to put off action we have the ability to implement here in London."

Motorists were first charged to drive in central London when former mayor Ken Livingstone introduced a Congestion toll in 2003.

Traffic builds up in central London in 2003 as the congestion charge began its first day

The C-charge was followed by the Ultra Low Emission Zone covering the same streets in 2019. 

The ULEZ was later extended in 2021 to include all roads inside the North and South Circular.

Drivers of older cars with petrol and diesel engines which fail to meet modern emissions standards face a daily C-Charge of £15.00 plus a ULEZ levy of £12.50.

The mayor’s earlier proposal for a £3.50 boundary charge was dismissed by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps but the idea has now been revived.

Any new charges would be introduced in May 2024 following a public consultation and feasibility study.