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London C-charge hours changing from February 2022

The London congestion charge will operate over reduced hours from February 2022, while the charge will be suspended completely between Christmas Day and 3 January inclusive.

The increased fee of £15 per day introduced in June 2020 will remain, but the operating hours from 21 February 2022 will be cut back to the previous 7am-6pm Monday to Friday, but also midday-6pm at the weekends and bank holidays.

Since June 2020, the charge was operational 7am-10pm seven days a week, and the changes have been instigated following a public consultation that received almost 10,000 responses.

The current exemption for battery electric or hydrogen vehicles is still planned to end on 25 December 2025.

For more on the changes, see the TFL website.

First Toyota and Cupra EV prices revealed

Toyota’s first full electric vehicle will cost from just under £42,000 when it arrives in the UK in the second half of next year, while the Cupra Born will begin from £33,735.

Toyota bZ4X 2021 Toyota is yet to reveal powertrain details for the bZ4X SUV (left), with no indication on range or performance, but has said that it will launch with three trim levels of Pure, Motion and Vision, plus a Premiere Edition launch special, and in either front- or four-wheel drive. The top model will cost £51,550.

Cupra Born 2021Cupra’s first EV will arrive with a 204hp powertrain and 58kWh battery, with more options to follow post-launch, as Volkswagen has done with the ID.3 and ID.4 models with which the Born (right) is closely related. The addition of a 150hp powertrain using a 45kWh battery will reduce the Born’s initial entry price of £33,735 for the V1 trim, rising to £37,375 for the top V3, while a 231hp electric motor will join the range with two different sizes of battery.

Cupra has confirmed that the 204hp model will have an official range figure of 263 miles.

New towing rules active from today

The Government’s revised licence rules for towing kicked in from 16 December 2021, changing the restrictions for drivers that passed their tests from 1 January 1997.

The change means that drivers passing after that date were previously restricted to a car or van up to 3500kg Maximum Authorised Mass towing a trailer of up to 750g MAM, unless undertaking extra training, whereas now they can tow a trailer of up to 3500kg MAM.

For licences issued between 1 January 1997 and 18 January 2013, drivers were also allowed to tow a trailer of over 750kg MAM as long as it was no more than the unladen weight of the towing vehicle, and those after 19 January 2013 could to a trailer over 750kg as long as the combined MAM of the vehicle and trailer was no more than 3500kg.

Affected drivers will get an update to their photocard licence when it comes up for its 10-year renewal. Anyone passing before the beginning of 1997 is unaffected.

C-Charge rises as London moves to ‘car-free’ zones

First pictures: Toyota bZ4X – Toyota’s first EV

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