Congestion charge changes announced by TFL

TFL have announced temporary changes to the central London Congestion Charge. Despite the very large number of people working from home and the re-introduction of charging schemes suspended at the start of lockdown, car traffic in central London is increasing again.

We can’t risk gridlock from a car-led recovery. Clearer roads will allow us to restart London’s economy, keep essential freight and buses running more smoothly, and minimise journey times for essential travel.

To do this we need you to help us let residents, businesses and other stakeholders know about the following changes to the Congestion Charge. We are extending its hours and days of operation and making some changes to exemptions:

  • The daily charge will increase from £11.50 to £15 per day (£17.50 for those paying during the three days after the day of travel).

  • We are extending charging hours to 07:00 to 22:00 from the current hours of 07:00 to 18:00, to reflect peak traffic hours during the epidemic. We will also operate the scheme seven days a week and all year around except Christmas Day.
  • We will remove Auto Pay and Fleet Auto Pay £1 daily discount.
  • The residents’ discount scheme will close to new applications from 1 August. In response to issues raised by stakeholders and the public, applications received up to and including 31 July will be accepted. Existing discount holders will continue to receive the discount for their currently registered vehicle and any replacements.
  • We are expanding the NHS patient reimbursement scheme and creating new reimbursement arrangements for local authorities and charities providing services in response to the pandemic.

Our projections show that, if left unchecked, car traffic in central London could double as the Government eases lockdown restrictions. This will result in gridlock. These changes will help us create more space for socially distanced walking and cycling as part of the Mayor’s Street Space programme.

We need renewed action to help us keep the recent improvements to air quality. Cleaner air during lockdown, and emerging evidence linking air pollution to the most severe impacts of COVID-19, make this task even more urgent.