News: Boris Johnson for pay-as-you-go charges on polluting cars

Measures would increase charges for higher-emitting vehicles

Boris Johnson

BORIS JOHNSON has proposed making older, more polluting cars as socially unacceptable as drink driving with the introduction of a pay-per-mile scheme that would increase charges for higher-emitting vehicles.

The proposal is contained in the mayor of London’s Transport Emission Road Map, published last week, and revives plans by the previous Labour government to replace road and fuel taxes with a pay-as-you-drive system in which drivers are tracked and then charged according to the roads they use and the vehicles they drive. Central government support would be needed for the national scheme that Johnson envisages.

Edmund King, president of the AA, welcomed measures to tackle air pollution but warned that Johnson’s scheme would unfairly penalise poorer motorists, even though a scrappage scheme for older diesels would form part of it. “In principle, around half of our members would support a pay-as-you-drive charging system but 87% say that they do not trust the government to deliver a fair system,” he said.

Last week Johnson also announced plans to introduce a workplace parking levy that could see employees paying up to £400 a year to park their car.

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