Sadiq Khan is investing £150 million on a “secret” technology project capable of charging motorists a pay-per-mile road tax, The Telegraph can reveal.
The scheme, called Project Detroit, was set up by Transport for London (TfL) to create a “more sophisticated… new core technology platform for road-user charging”.
A series of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests show 157 staff are now working solely on the scheme, with some engineers being paid more than £100,000 a year.
In total £21 million has already been spent on the project, which started in 2021, but the “platform has an estimated final cost of between £130 million to £150 million”.
But Conservatives at City Hall claim Project Detroit, which is creating a single “road user charging” platform for the congestion charge, Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) and Low Emission Zone, could be used to introduce a charge based on the distance driven in cars within London.
One FoI response from TFL says: “The Detroit platform has the capability to be extended and we will be looking to build the system flexibly so that other forms of charging based on distance, vehicle type, etc could be catered for if a decision was made in future to do so.”