London’s congestion charges are re-introduced from today, 18 May and the charge will be raised to £15 from 22 June.
Transport for London has announced that the Congestion Charge has been restored in London on Monday. It applies between 7 am and 10 pm, seven days a week. LEZ (the charge of entering into the Low Emission Zone) and ULEZ (the charge of entering into an Ultra Low Emission Zone) are also in force from today.
The Congestion Charge, Ultra Low Emission Zone and Low Emission Zone will also be reinstated on Monday 18 May, to prevent London’s roads from becoming unusably busy. We are also proposing to increase the Congestion Charge hours and fee as a temporary measure from next month
— Mayor of London (gov.uk/coronavirus) (@MayorofLondon) May 15, 2020
The reason for the sudden re-introduction and increase of the charges is a deal between the British government and the city of London. The government had been in discussions about a financial support package to help Transport for London (TfL), which was experiencing financial difficulties even before the coronavirus hit its fare income. According to the Transport Network magazine, the transport authority had been hit by the loss of its government grant funding of £700m a year since 2018, the fare freeze imposed by mayor Sadiq Khan and delays and extra costs related to the troubled Crossrail project. Due to the lockdown, the revenue income of TfL fell massively, as London tube journeys decreased to 6% of the normal average.
The government is willing to help the Transport for London with a £1.6 billion aid, but it has conditions. One of these requisites is the increase in the congestion charge from £11.50 to £15 from 22 June.
Photo: David Hawgood/ Geograph