People driving to central London will now face a daily fee of £15 as a 30 percent increase to London’s congestion charge comes into force today (Monday June 22). The rise is one of the conditions included in the government’s recent bailout of Transport for London (TfL), and will affect drivers within the central London congestion zone every day between 7am and 10pm. Previously, drivers were charged £11.50 just on weekdays, and between the hours of 7am and 6pm – now, the only exemption is Christmas Day.
Emergency services, NHS and care workers will still have the charge reimbursed and residents of central London can apply for a discount before August 1.
The £1.6 billion bailout will also be reflected in an increase to tube and bus fares in the capital, and has already resulted in the scrapping of freedom passes for elderly and disabled passengers during peak travel times.
According to TfL, traffic has already returned to March’s pre-lockdown level and there’s an expectation that this could continue to rise further – and even double – with people attempting to avoid public transport.
The Mayor of London has been asking Londoners to take up walking and cycling for their journeys as lockdown measures are eased, and previously expressed an ambition for London to become the world’s biggest car-free capital.
Find out more on the congestion charge changes and see which parts of London are affected here.