The £15 congestion charge, the increased daily rate for driving into central London introduced during the pandemic, is to be made permanent.
The charge was increased from £11.50 in June last year, and was implemented as one of the conditions of the government’s deal to bail out TfL during the COVID lockdown. The move was initially billed as temporary.
However, in an effort to boost the hospitality sector, TfL will reduce the hours of the congestion charge. It’s currently active between 7am and 10pm, seven days a week. The new hours will be 7am to 6pm on weekdays and 12pm to 6pm at weekends. Pending a public consultation (have your say here), the new hours would come into effect on February 28.
The new rates and hours for the congestion charge were revealed as part of TfL’s annual report yesterday, in which it also reaffirmed its plans for a fully zero emission bus fleet by 2030 and to continue building 30km of cycleways every year.
Excitingly, the report also mentioned that TfL are looking into buying new trains for the Bakerloo line, which currently has the oldest passenger trains in the UK and is notoriously one of the Tube’s bumpiest, wildest rides. But I wouldn’t hold your breath – due to be ordered in 2023/24, we could be waiting until 2030 before new trains see any action.