The London congestion charge and ultra low emissions zones are to be reinstated from Monday, and the London Mayor’s office has also confirmed a “temporary” price rise to £15 per day from 22 June, extended the charge to 7am-10pm seven days a week rather than the current Monday-Friday 7am-6pm and the removal of the Autopay discount.
There are no changes to the 100% discount for vehicles under 76g/km.
London mayor Sadiq Khan (pictured) also confirmed plans for transforming parts of central London into “one of the largest car-free zones of any capital city in the world”, to enable more walking and cycling, rather than the use of public transport. According to the mayor’s office, streets between London Bridge and Shoreditch, Euston Waterloo and Old Street and Holburn could be limited to buses, pedestrians and cyclists to help boost sustainable travel, as could Waterloo and London Bridges, with pavements widened to ease travel between main stations.
Walking and cycling routes between Old Street and Bank, and Cannon Street and Holburn and Bank are also a target for improvement.
Though the Mayor’s Office described the congestion charge rise from £11.50 to £15 and the extended operation times and days as temporary, it said they will be monitored and form part of a wider review into the congestion charge “as agreed with the Government as part of the TfL funding deal”.
“Covid-19 poses the biggest challenge to London’s public transport network in TfL’s history. It will take a monumental effort from all Londoners to maintain safe social distancing on public transport as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased,” said Khan. “That means we have to keep the number of people using public transport as low as possible. And we can’t see journeys formerly taken on public transport replaced with car usage because our roads would immediately become unusably blocked and toxic air pollution would soar.
“I ask that Londoners do not use public transport unless it is absolutely unavoidable – it must be a last resort. If you can work from home you should continue to do so. We should all spend more of our leisure time in our local areas too,” he continued. “We will need many more Londoners to walk and cycle to make this work. That’s why these plans will transform parts of central London to create one of the largest car-free areas in any capital city in the world.