Dartford MP, Gareth Johnson, will lead a Westminster Hall debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday (March 23rd) to highlight the proposal for an outer London congestion charge.
The proposal being investigated by the Mayor of London’s office is to charge all vehicles registered outside of London £3.50 every time they cross the boundary into any London borough.
This proposal has been met by widespread opposition from residents in Dartford and MPs close to London, as well as those living in the capital. A petition entitled ‘No to Labour’s Dartford Car Tax’ on the Change.org website currently has over 26,600 signatures.
Mr Johnson said: “Introducing this charge would be catastrophic and costly for everyone in Dartford as well as the millions of people who live outside the capital who drive into Greater London for business or leisure purposes. The proposed charge of £3.50, which could rise to £5.50 for more polluting vehicles, would mean Dartford residents travelling to neighbouring Crayford to go shopping or to drop somebody off at Crayford station would have to pay this additional fee each day. This charge would impact not only my constituents but also millions of people from outside of the capital who want to use their car in Greater London.
Here in Dartford, there are some roads which are impossible to leave without entering Bexley so are people living in these roads expected to pay every time they drive out of their roads?
Even people in London are not supportive of the plans. A recent YouGov poll has revealed 54% of Londoners are opposed to it, with just 32% in favour. And a further 44% of those surveyed said they thought the charge would hurt London’s economy.
I have secured this debate so that MPs from all areas can come together and debate this divisive issue and I again will call upon the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan to drop the idea.
Unfortunately, this is a charge which could be imposed by the devolved London Mayor without any say from people who will have to pay the charge and that is totally unacceptable for my constituents in Dartford.
If introduced, millions of people who want to drive into any London Borough for whatever reason will be forced to pay and I hope this debate will shine a light on the issue and persuade the London Mayor to abandon the proposal.”