he proposed a ‘Greater London border fee’ which would have seen drivers charged £3.50 a day to enter the capital has now been ‘ruled out’ according to TfL.
The controversial plan to charge drivers to travel to London was proposed in December 2020 by Sadiq Khan as a potential way to raise around £500million a year for TfL, with the government ruling out handing over the capital to the capital. collected through vehicle excise duties.
Despite opposition to the plan from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, TfL confirmed in October last year that the charge was ‘still an option’ and featured in a list of revenue-generating plans sent to the spending review of the government.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan reiterated that the Boundary Fee was “one of the options” being considered as a source of revenue for TfL during a Mayor’s Question Time meeting in December.
But speaking at a meeting of the London Assembly’s budget and performance committee on Friday, outgoing TfL chief financial officer Simon Kilonback said the border fee was now irrelevant.
Mr Kilonback said: ‘We are at a very critical point with the government to consider what are the options beyond the council tax increases that the mayor has discussed and proposed, and what he will determine very soon in terms of tariffs, to generate at least £500m- [a year].
“At this time we need to get comments from the Government on what they will support after having ruled out the Greater London Border Charge, having ruled out the decentralization of vehicle excise duty and having also ruled out the review of new taxes.
He added: “The Secretary of State for Transport has been very clear that he does not support the introduction of the Greater London Border Charge and does not support, or will not consider, the devolution of the right excise duty on vehicles.
Sadiq Khan has already announced that the Mayor’s share of council tax paid by Londoners will rise by an average of £31.93 a year from next April in a bid to help restore TfL to financial viability.
But Mr Kilonback said on Friday the planned council tax rise would only bring in around £172million a year after three years, while potential changes to TfL rates would bring in around £60-80million. sterling.
He said that would still leave TfL finding “around half” of the £500million a year in extra revenue it needs.
While tariffs for TfL services could increase by up to 5% this month, the Mayor of London and TfL are also considering measures such as changing the tariff structure in London, increasing the cost of an Oyster Card deposit by £5 to £7. and the removal of free travel before 9 a.m. for Londoners with a Freedom Pass or 60+ Photocard.
Mr Kilonback told the London Assembly on Friday that TfL should look at “what happens after the expansion of the ultra-low emission zone” to raise additional funds, but stressed that emissions management programs and congestion on the road “cannot be designed to maximize revenue”.
It was revealed at Friday’s meeting that compliance with the Ultra-Low Emission Zone since its expansion in October is around 92%, compared to 87% originally estimated by TfL.
This translates to around £300m in revenue lower than TfL had estimated.