London’s Congestion Charge has risen to £15 per day and will now operate for longer, and seven days per week.
Transport for London says the increase from £11.50 per day and the lengthening of enforced hours to 10pm is part of a bailout deal with the Government to cover a shortfall in revenue budget deficit.
TfL says the latest data shows that even with the Congestion Charge back in place and many people still working from home, there are as many cars in the zone as there were before the lockdown began.
This is likely to be due to the effect of reduced capacity on public transport and current policy to encourage driving rather than taking the train, tube, bus or tram.
“If traffic is allowed to continue to grow, roads will become unusably congested,” a TfL statement reads. “Analysis indicates that as the Government further eases lockdown restrictions, if those who would have used public transport instead choose to drive, car traffic levels in central London could double without any changes to the Congestion Charge.
“This would mean that there would not be space on streets to accommodate the increased levels of walking and cycling needed with effective public transport capacity reduced to 13-20 per cent of normal due to social distancing.”
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said, “Coronavirus continues to present our city with unprecedented challenges but I am determined to ensure that we emerge from this pandemic with a cleaner, greener and more sustainable transport system.”