Changes to London’s Congestion Charge announced

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Transport for London (TfL) has announced that there will be no congestion charge after 6pm from February 21. Operating hours are currently 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week — increased during the Covid-19 pandemic to meet a condition of the Government’s financial bailout settlement 

Operating hours on weekends and bank holidays will also be reduced from 12pm to 6pm. However, the current charge of £15 will be retained —raised from £11.50 during the pandemic.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “These new changes strike a balance between reducing traffic and congestion and supporting London's economy and residents and helping ensure our recovery is a green and sustainable one.

“The removal of the evening charge will support the capital's culture, hospitality and night-time businesses which have struggled so much, as well as encouraging people to walk, cycle and use public transport. It's vital we do not encourage a car-led recovery and replace one public health crisis with another due to filthy air.”

 

Reimbursement for the care sector
The announcement followed a 10-week consultation that saw nearly 10,000 responses. 
TfL says: “The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the need to protect the vulnerable and those involved in caring for them.
“Reimbursement arrangements will be retained to facilitate essential trips made by certain NHS patients, care home workers, local councils and charities during epidemics and pandemics. The expanded NHS staff reimbursement arrangement will also continue.”

Other changes
TfL will also reopen the 90% residents' discount for new applicants.
Other permanent changes being implemented include:

  • The deadline will be extended for making a delayed payment to three days after the day of travel. The delayed payment charge is £17.50.
  • The Auto Pay and Fleet Auto Pay discount will be removed.
  • The ability for residents to pay by App or online for multiple consecutive charging days will be removed.

TfL say the measures will “ensure gains made in reducing car dependency over more than 15 years are not lost.”

 

Most changes came into force on 20 December 2021, aside from the changes to hours of operation, which will take place on 21 February 2022. 

 

Impact on van & truck drivers
Natalie Chapman, Logistics UK’s Head of Policy - South, comments: “Logistics UK welcomes the announcement confirming the operational hours of the Congestion Charge will revert back to the original weekday timings in place before the Covid-19 pandemic. This will provide additional flexibility to retime deliveries to less congested times – with the potential to reduce emissions, improve the safety of vulnerable road users, and increase operational efficiency – and is supported by Logistics UK members.  

“However, Logistics UK is disappointed that the charges will apply on weekends and bank holidays, and that the £15 charge level will be retained, but the fleet autopay discount removed. This simply amounts to an additional tax for logistics businesses who currently have little alternative but to use lorries and vans to keep London stocked with all the goods the population needs.”