Changing the way we pay for roads – The Mayor's Transport Strategy 2017

Today the London Mayor published his draft Transport Strategy for public consultation (you can view the full document here).

One area of particular focus is congestion, specifically reducing car use by changing the way Londoners pay for roads. You might remember our recent campaign encouraging the Government to charge road tax by the mile, so we're really happy to see Sadiq Khan investigating this strategy.

Did you know?

There are four existing and planned road user charging schemes in London:

  • The Congestion Charge Zone
  • The Low Emission Zone
  • The Ultra Low Emission Zone
  • The Silvertown Tunnel

An outdated model

Today these schemes largely rely on emissions of the vehicle, times of day and a fixed cost – no matter how much someone drives in the particular zones.

The Mayor recognises that this is an outdated model – the Congestion Charge was conceived in the 1990s – and proposes to consider developing a next generation of road charging schemes that would replace the existing ones and take into account newer technology to reflect distance as well as the other factors.

"An integrated 'per mile' charge could replace pre-existing schemes" - Mayor’s Transport Strategy Report

A pay-per-mile charge is suggested by the Mayor as one way to replace these existing schemes. If implemented, this would be the first pay-per-mile road scheme in the UK and we at By Miles fully support it.

By harnessing new technology to develop fair and sophisticated ways of charging for car use, we can better tackle congestion and emissions.

Pay-per-mile around the the world

In Germany, the "LKW-Maut" (HGV toll) is a vehicle toll based on the distance driven in kilometers, as well as the emissions and number of axels of the vehicle. An on-board unit is installed to measure the distance and email a bill, with an average price of E0.15 per kilometer. A similar system operated in Austria called "GO Maut".

In New Zealand there is a Road User Charge (RUC) from $62 per 1,000 km for cars. This helps anyone who is using New Zealand's roads to contribute towards their upkeep.

And in the USA, the state of Oregon introduced OReGO as "a fair and sustainable way to fund road maintenance, preservation and improvements for all Oregonians".


Further reading: Would car tax be fairer if we paid by the mile?