Road Pricing

Plenary on 2006-12-06
Session date: 
December 6, 2006
Question By: 
Roger Evans
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)


The Mayor recently stated that it was his desire to see London have a road-pricing scheme before a national scheme. What options have you been asked by the Mayor to look at?


Answer for Road Pricing

Answer for Road Pricing

Answered By: 
Peter Hendy (Commissioner, Transport for London)

The Government has indicated that a future national road user charging scheme could be based on mobile positioning technology, which would allow pricing to be based on the distance a vehicle travels, as well as its location and the time of day. Equally, a national scheme could comprise a series of local schemes, covering congested centres and strategic routes, joined by a common back office (i.e. that is interoperable).

The dates for delivery of a national scheme will depend on the development of other schemes over the next decade. The Mayor has indicated that he would like to see a London-wide scheme in operation in the next decade and TfL has been investigating the technologies that might make this possible.

Trials of tag and beacon technology, being carried out by TfL in the London Borough of Southwark, suggest that a scheme with high levels of accuracy could be deployed in London, enabling the development of more flexible charging policies. Tag and beacon could be introduced to the central London congestion charging zone after the operating contracts are re-let in 2009/10.

TfL is also investigating the accuracy of mobile positioning (satellite) technologies for the purpose of congestion charging in the London environment, and believes that such an option might be feasible for some users in the short to medium term, subject to further studies.

The design of a potential London road user charging scheme in the context of national charging is still in its early stages and TfL will be undertaking detailed investigations into the potential impacts of various configurations. However, it is clear that a London-wide charging scheme has the potential to achieve enormous benefits in terms of time savings for drivers and public transport passengers as well as significant reductions in vehicle emissions (CO2 as well as NOx and PM10).

If the Mayor asks us to bring forward proposals for such a scheme they would be subject to extensive public consultation.