The primary objective of the Congestion Charge is to reduce traffic and congestion in central London. This will improve London’s air quality, reduce carbon emissions and encourage more journeys to be made by walking, cycling or public transport.
Since its implementation in 2003, Transport for London (TfL) has made changes to the Congestion Charge to ensure it remains effective, including changes to the charge level, days/times of operation, and discounts and exemptions. Temporary changes were introduced in June 2020 in response to the transport challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Between 28 July and 6 October 2021, there was a consultation on new proposals to change the Congestion Charging scheme. A total of 9,680 responses were received including 92 from stakeholders. The Mayor wants to thank all of those who took part, the feedback received this has been very helpful in making this decision.
The changes will be delivered in two phases:
Phase 1 (from 20 December 2021)
- The charge level will be £15
- No charge will be applied between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day bank holiday inclusive. This means the period from Saturday 25 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022 (inclusive) will not be charged
- The 90 per cent residents’ discount will be re-opened for all eligible residents to register for the discount
- The delayed payment charge will be £17.50 and the deadline will be extended to three days after the day of travel
- The Auto Pay and Fleet Auto Pay discount will be removed
- The reimbursement arrangements that were introduced as part of the temporary changes will be retained or adapted to ensure that people most vulnerable to infection from epidemics and pandemics will continue to be protected. This will also facilitate essential trips made by NHS staff in times of exceptional or extraordinary circumstances including for commuting purposes
- The ability for residents to pay by App or online for multiple consecutive charging days will be removed.
Phase 2 (from 21 February 2022)
- The operating hours for the Congestion Charge will be 07:00-18:00 on weekdays and 12:00-18:00 on weekends and Bank Holidays.
The reason that the changes have been split into two phases is to enable the majority of the changes to be implemented as quickly as possible, while allowing sufficient time for changes in new signage and back office systems relating to the changed hours of operation.
If you would like to view the consultation report, you can access this on the website tfl.gov.uk/ccyourview.