London Congestion Charge, longer hours and more expensive

Drivers in London will soon be facing temporary changes to the congestion charge as part of the deal Tfl signed with the government. The mayor of London Sadiq Khan will have to increase the congestion charge to £15 a day to help with the finances of the struggling transport network. The aims is to discourage Londoners from making unnecessary car journeys.

The deal was necessary in order to ensure the continuity of the service though it will affect especially travel by car on weekends. Many residents in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe use the shortcut that crossing SE1 represents to reach out different areas of London and the longer hours of the C-charge will surely impact many residents and local companies which may be doing only late deliveries.

New extended hours

On 18 May 2020, the Congestion Charge will be reactivated exactly the same as it was before – £11.50 per day and enforced between 7am and 6pm on weekdays.

On 22 June, the temporary £15 daily fee and extended hours of operation will be brought into effect. The Congestion Charge operating hours will temporarily extended in the evening from 6pm to 10pm. The charge will continue to be levied from 7am.

A reimbursement scheme that was already in place for NHS staff will be extended to care home workers.

There will be no change to the existing exemptions for low and zero emission vehicles. The £12.50-a-day ultra-low emission zone (Ulez), which was suspended alongside the C-charge, will also be reintroduced on Monday. It applies 24/7 to drivers of older, more polluting petrol and diesel vehicles.

The Mayor of London has also announced plans to turn parts of central London into a car-free zone with some streets in the city centre converted to walking or cycling only

Photo by Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) / CC BY-SA / Wikipedia
Photo by Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) / CC BY-SA

Changes to free travel

Under the terms of a government bailout reported in different newspapers, the mayor must also end his fares freeze, which will increase the cost of tickets from January. Other noticeable changes will be :

  • Free travel for London schoolchildren temporarily this summer
  • The Freedom Pass, used by adults who are over 60 to travel free on the Tube and buses, will be suspended during the morning and evening rush hours
  • Disabled passengers will not lose their free travel.

More cycling and Cycleway 4 sections recently reported further sections of the partly-completed Cycleway 4 along Jamaica Road will be opened up for public use as part of plans by the Mayor and TfL to make it easier to walk and cycle when lockdown restrictions are eased. A short section of Cycleway 4 near Southwark Park opened in early March.

The completion of the Cycleway 4 between London Bridge and the Rotherhithe Roundabout is demanded by many businesses and residents along the route. Southwark Council has not completed their final plans for the cycle lane linking Lower Rd with the CS4 bproject y Transport for London .

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