An MP has accused Sadiq Khan of being a “Central London” mayor who has “forgotten” about communities like his in a row over a proposed new boundary charge for vehicles entering the capital.
The London mayor is proposing a new tax for people driving into the outskirts of the capital – known as the Greater London boundary charge – in a bid to shore up TfL’s struggling finances, which have taken a hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposed policy would see drivers with vehicles registered outside the 33 London boroughs charged each time they travel into Greater London at a cost of £3.50 a day for most vehicles, and increasing to £5.50 for the most polluting vehicles.
The levy would be on top of the existing £15 congestion charge and £12.50 ultra-low emission zone (Ulez).
Essex MPs have argued it would “cripple” families in their county if implemented, but the mayor has said that since Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is spent outside of the capital, he must find other ways of raising money.
Andrew Rosindell, the Tory MP for Romford, told MyLondon: “Outer London MPs could be forgiven for thinking that the mayor of London has forgotten that our communities even exist.
“Once again he has designed a policy to benefit Zones 1 and 2 at the expense of the rest of Greater London.
“My constituency of Romford is a proud, thriving town which has always benefited from being at the crossroads of London and Essex.
“People come from all over the county of Essex into Romford to work, or to see friends and family in Romford.
“This punitive measure will only make it more costly for them to do so, and will make Romford’s recovery from a difficult pandemic all the more harder – something I’m sure this central London mayor cares little about.”
He added: “I agree with Dean Russell MP’s letter, which I co-signed, that it is unacceptable for Sadiq Khan to compensate for his own failings by introducing a damaging border tax on families and businesses surrounding London.”
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The mayor has repeatedly urged the government to allow London to retain the £500m of Vehicle Excise Duty paid by Londoners every year but which is currently spent almost exclusively on maintaining roads outside the capital.
“If the government do not agree, other ways of raising money to overcome the unprecedented financial challenges TfL faces as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic may be needed.
“A Greater London Boundary charge for non-residents could reduce congestion and emissions whilst encouraging more use of public transport.
“Revenues could also provide funding for investment in London’s transport network.
“Subject to the findings of TfL’s feasibility study, already underway, any proposals developed as a result would be subject to a full public consultation where the public – including non-Londoners – would be able to have their say on any potential proposals.”