A petition opposing plans to introduce a daily charge for motorists entering Greater London has been signed almost 20,000 times.

Mayor Sadiq Khan has proposed a £3.50 daily fee for entry into Greater London unless the Government allows the capital to keep the £500 million paid by Londoners each year in vehicle excise duty.

The plan would see drivers with vehicles registered outside London having to pay once they enter outer boroughs such as Bromley and Bexley.

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Dartford MP Gareth Johnson, who launched the petition, said: “This charge will hit workers the most; the plumbers, electricians and other key workers who have to drive in to London to work and for whom public transport is not an option. 

“Any vehicle charge to include the Bexley and Bromley areas would have a significant impact on Dartford.

“Sadiq Khan needs to rule out this Greater London entry charge which is just another form of taxation on hardworking Dartfordians!”

A £3.50 daily fee would raise an estimated £500 million a year, with an estimated 1.3 million vehicle trips made from outside London into the capital every weekday.

Mr Khan has asked Transport for London (TfL) officials to investigate the feasibility of the Greater London Boundary Charge, would take at least two years to be introduced.

A spokesman for the mayor said he has “broad powers” to launch such schemes to achieve his transport strategy.

TfL’s finances have been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, leading to it requiring a £1.8 billion Government bail-out in November to keep services running until March 2021.

In addition to raising vital funds, Mr Khan believes charging drivers to enter London could have significant benefits in terms of managing congestion, cutting emissions and encouraging people to use sustainable modes of transport.

Opponents say the charge would unfairly target workers who commute into London and those who may have family obligations on either side of the boundary.

The Dartford West Kent County Councillor, Jan Ozog, said: “As a Councillor who resides in and represents Dartford West, I know how much this move by Labour would really hurt the pockets of local residents.

“My division has several crossing points in to London, so I know there are a huge number of people who move between the boundary to go about their daily lives.”

You can view the petition here