What will YOUR drive through London cost? How a trip from one end of the capital to the other could leave motorists £32.50 out of pocket thanks to Sadiq Khan’s congestion charge, ULEZ, and tolls
Drivers could face shelling out as much as £32.50 for a trip from one end of London to another thanks to a dizzying array of charges, tolls and fines.
The Congestion Charge, which was introduced in 2003 and costs £15, was joined by ULEZ in 2019. And later this month the Mayor will extend the scheme across every London borough – dramatically increasing the number of drivers facing £12.50 bills.
To add insult to injury, it recently emerged drivers will soon have to pay to use the Blackwall Tunnel – a major route linking central London with the South East. The cost of the toll has not yet been disclosed but a figure of around £2 has been mooted.
Meanwhile, Mr Khan is considering a toll for a newly reopened Hammersmith Bridge, which closed to cars in 2019 after cracks appeared in the structure. The local council has estimated a charge of £3 could raise the amount needed.
To illustrate the impact of these accumulated bills, MailOnline imagined a woman called Linda who lives in Epsom and owns a 2014 diesel Honda Civic.
Robin Hopkins, 63, runs delivery firm RMH Same Day Couriers and regularly travels to London from his home in the Midlands. He told MailOnline the charge for the Blackwall Tunnel was only the latest example of Mr Khan seeking to ‘grab cash’ from motorists
One day, she needs to drive to Hammersmith to pick up her elderly mother and take her to a concert at the 02 in Greenwich.
After entering London, Linda – due to the age of her car – would immediately be liable for a £12.50 ULEZ charge.
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She may then pay £3 to cross Hammersmith Bridge, assuming it had been reopened and a toll introduced.
A friend of her mother is waiting at Charing Cross Station, forcing Linda to drive through the Congestion Charge zone to get to her. That’s another £15 fee.
And, finally, she drives through the Blackwall Tunnel to get to the 02 – adding £2 to reach a total of £32.50.
The charge for the Blackwall Tunnel will only be implemented once the Silvertown Tunnel, which will link Silvertown and Greenwich, opens in 2025.
Transport for London say the fee will cover the £2billion cost of building and maintaining the new tunnel, with any surplus ‘reinvested’ into the wider transport network.
The Blackwall Tunnel is one of the few crossings in the area, with only the Dartford Crossing and Woolwich Ferry further east. It is currently used by 100,000 vehicles every day.
The toll for the Blackwall Tunnel will only be implemented once the Silvertown Tunnel, which will link Silvertown and Greenwich, opens in 2025. It comes as motorists brace for the extension of Ulez later this month
Robin Hopkins, 63, is director of delivery firm RMH Same Day Couriers and regularly travels to London from his home in the Midlands.
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He told MailOnline the charge for the Blackwall Tunnel was only the latest example of Mr Khan seeking to ‘grab cash’ from motorists.
‘I’ve been in central London since early today and have been through the Congestion Charge zone and ULEZ,’ he said.
‘The Blackwall Tunnel will only be the start of it – I can see tolls being up on other bridges and crossings as well.
‘As soon as I have extra costs or tolls I have to pass those onto my customers. It’s a trickle-down effect.
‘Transport businesses have already been hammered by fuel costs, and a lot of them have had to pack it in after decades of service.
‘Motorists are clearly being targeted for a cash grab by Sadiq Khan. We urgently need a new Mayor who befits the role.’
The expansion of ULEZ at the end of the month has been Mr Khan’s single most controversial transport policy. Pictured is one of the cameras monitoring the scheme
Drivers approaching the Blackwall Tunnel in Greenwich after the start of the school holidays last month
Hammersmith Bridge in south-west London was shut to cars in 2019 after cracks appeared in the handsome Victorian structure.
Ever since, the failure to repair and reopen it has become something of a national embarrassment.
Councillor Stephen Cowan, leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, has emphasised that any decision over the future of the bridge is ultimately down to Mr Khan and the Government.
He has raised the prospect of a toll to fund the estimated £230million repair bill. The council has estimated a charge of £3 could raise the amount needed.
A spokesperson for Mr Khan suggested he would be prepared to back a toll if it was managed by the Department for Transport.
A toll has been mooted for Hammersmith Bridge to pay for repairs to the Victorian landmark
Hammersmith & Fulham Council have been clear that the purpose of a potential charge on the bridge would be to raise revenue to repay the costs of repair works on the bridge, and not to deliver wider transport policy objectives,’ they said.
‘As such, the appropriate approach to introduce the toll is through a tolling order, which would be managed by the Department for Transport.
‘The Mayor and TfL are committed to supporting the reopening of Hammersmith Bridge and will continue to work closely with the local council and the Government.’
Nearby Wandsworth Bridge is also closed to motorists due to the need to replace ‘critical weight-bearing parts’. It is expected to reopen in late September.
It comes as Mr Khan launched a final marketing blitz in London ahead of the expansion of ULEZ on August 29.
TfL is pushing adverts across TV channels, radio, newspapers, magazines, apps, social media, buses, roadside billboards and petrol pumps.
An advert posted on Facebook by Transport for London promoting the Ulez expansion
The Mayor’s team have also sent emails to customers on TfL’s database and leaflets through letterboxes in outer London boroughs as well as face-to-face leafleting.
In addition, officials have posted slick YouTube videos in recent weeks from experts including Asthma and Lung UK chief executive Sarah Woolnough and respiratory professor Jonathan Grigg talking about ‘why the expansion of Ulez is important’.
The campaign is targeted at drivers in London and the Home Counties to raise awareness and explain who is affected, where the expanded zone will operate and how it will work including hours of operations, the daily charges and how to pay.
But it has provoked fury – with motoring campaigner Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK and Reform UK’s London mayoral candidate, telling MailOnline today: ‘Nine million pounds of taxpayers’ money used to indoctrinate us all, about an already-costly cash grabbing scheme that will do nothing to improve air quality.
‘This will be a propaganda campaign designed to brainwash us all that drivers are the anti-green demons and Sadiq Khan is the saviour of the planet.’
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