Congestion charge comes back into effect

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into Greater London, Transport for London (TfL) made a raft of announcements about future price increases. 

Congestion charge price increase


As of June 22nd, TfL is raising the daily congestion charge to £15. The move comes as transport network bosses seek to cover a whopping £1.1 billion bailout grant, along with a £505 million loan, handed over to them by the Government. The last time fees were upped was back in 2014, when the price rose from £10 to £11.50.

It is also proposed that the hours the charge applies to be extended, meaning it is in effect from 7 am to 10 pm, seven days a week.

Continued support for NHS staff


The initiative to reimburse NHS and care home staff of the charge has been extended, recognising their essential role in the battle against COVID-19.

Why is the congestion charge being increased?


According to Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, TfL has recorded a substantial drop in demand, with passenger levels at a century-low. Consequently, the income stream dried up, according to Brown, falling by 90 per cent. The Commissioner welcomed the Government's handout, which he says will help “to get London moving and working again, safely and sustainably”.

A press release from the Mayor of London’s office stated that the increased charge is also intended to discourage Londoners from making non-essential car trips and cut journeys in the Congestion Charge Zone by up to 33%. Reportedly, traffic levels are beginning to edge back up, nearer to pre-lockdown levels. A desire to improve London’s air quality by lowering pollution is also cited as a deciding factor, with policymakers anticipating the move will promote walking and cycling in the capital.

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