Press Release

Response to Transport for London funding proposals

Responding to today’s funding proposals for Transport for London, Rob Whitehead, Director of Strategic Projects at Centre for London said:

“Given that the Mayor was charged by government with devising a plan for putting Transport for London on a financially sustainable footing, without the need for a long term additional grant, it is unsurprising that this review concludes new charges are needed. TfL’s financial difficulties have arisen mainly because of its fare-dependent funding model, which has been hard hit by a loss of passengers this year.

“Building on Centre for London’s pioneering proposals for London-wide road user charging, the proposal to create a cordon charge for vehicles around Greater London could help to secure the extra funding that TfL needs. It complements the Congestion Charge and the ULEZ, could be politically ‘sellable’, would raise substantial revenues, and should help to reduce congestion and pollution at a time when London’s roads are under unprecedented pressure.

“There is also a rough justice to the proposal. London drivers pay half a billion pounds to the Treasury every year in vehicle and fuel tax, with much of the money spent on the national road network, virtually none of which is in London. So it’s not unfair to ask those driving in from outside London to help pay for its transport infrastructure.

“That said, cordon-based schemes are a crude way of charging drivers for the contribution they make to congestion, pollution and road wear and tear. At some point the Mayor and TfL are going to have to bite the bullet and establish a distance based road user charging scheme for London.”


Notes to Editors

  • Centre for London is the capital’s dedicated think tank. The Centre develops new solutions to London’s critical challenges and advocates for a fair and prosperous global city.
  • In 2019, the Centre published a report which set out proposals for a new road user charging scheme which would charge drivers per mile.