It is not exactly a charge no one knows about, given it was all over the news last year when Khan and Shapps were negotiating rescuing TfL when passenger revenue collapsed during to the lockdown. And is still only a possibility and not even a proposal despite the scaremongering headline.
Mainly it is a negotiating tactic, because politically it will hurt the government far more than the Mayor. Although that news story seems somewhat biased in not giving the reason why this is being touted.
The government has previously said that money raised from vehicle excise duty will be used to fund road building and improvements. The majority of this would be through National Highways (the latest rebranding of Highways Highways England who used to be the Highways Agency) but there will also be grants to council schemes.
So nothing would go to TfL to fund the strategic roads in London, though I believe London councils could still make bids for their roads. Which the Mayor says is unfair; that the taxes of those who live in London will pay towards road improvements for everyone else but London’s roads will see virtually no funding from V.E.D.
So the Mayor’s position is that the government should give the taxes raised from residents living in London to TfL to spend on roads in London. The government’s position is you get nothing. So the fee is suggested as a way of London getting it’s share. If people in the rest of the country are getting their roads funded by Londoners then London should be able to get its roads funded by those in the rest of the country.
As for the Blackwall Tunnel, that was always going to be tolled anyway, including for motorcycles.
Part of the plans for the Silvertown Tunnel would be that both it and Blackwall would be tolled both to cover construction and restrict induced demand. Those tolls included for motorcycles.
The consultation had the fee as being £2 peak or £1 off-peak for account holders during charging hours of 6am – 10pm. This compares to £3 and £1 for cars. Non-account holders would be a flat rate of £3 (or £4 for cars).
As that consultation took place in 2015, you can probably add a £1 onto them all.
Unfortunately TfL scrapped their consultations site. The documents are available on the project page, though they do not include the consultation responses. But at least in the preliminary 2014 consultation there were not many asking for motorcycles to be exempt from the charge.
As for tolling all Thames crossings, it is probably unavoidable for the reasons Michael748 says. A lot of that infrastructure and the Westway need extensive repairs or upkeep and there is just no money for it. None of them were built for the volume or weight of modern vehicles, as well as those that are being extended beyond their natural lives. It has to be funded somehow other wise it will end up in the same situation as Hammersmith Bridge.
[quote=“Boris, post:4, topic:112841”]
During Covid when TFL had no money, they got money from central government, so long as TFL could show how they would improve income, this is where the stories of expanding CC to north circ came from.[/quote]
The consultation on expanding the ULEZ to the circulars was launched 2017, something Khan said he would do in his 2016 election manifesto. That consultation even proposed the start date as being October 25th, 2021.
Covid has not been around that long! Sorry but none of that is true. All the government required of TfL, as part of is funding package last year, was for its to keep doing what it was already planning to do.
And it was hardly going to be a vote loser when it has already been part of the manifesto of one election victory, and largely supported in a consultation. But locally in inner London it seems to be very well supported, because people seem to like breathing, And most of all because it only affects a minority of vehicles on the road. The places most likely to oppose it are the outer Essex and Kent boroughs who vote Tory anyway.