London Mayor Sadiq Khan is facing a backlash over a row to keep London’s Congestion Charge at £15 a day.
The cost of the charge increased in June last year from £11.50 to £15 as part of the emergency funding deal for London’s transport network. It also became enforceable until 10pm seven days a week.
When that came into force, Mr Khan and TfL insisted this change would be temporary but TfL has now announced it intends to keep the £15 charge but reduce the hours operated. The charge would also be retained for part of the weekend. Under the new proposals, the £15 charge would be in effect from 7am to 6pm during the week and from 12pm to 6pm at weekends. There would be no charge between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, and weekend hours would apply on bank holidays.
Mr Khan said:
“As we look to the future it’s vital the charge strikes the right balance between supporting London’s economic recovery and helping ensure it is a green and sustainable one. These proposals support the capital’s culture, hospitality and night-time businesses which have struggled so much, as well as encouraging people to walk, cycle and use public transport.”
Tory London Assembly Member Shaun Bailey, who challenged Mr Khan for the position of mayor said:
“By keeping the charge at £15, he’s taxing London’s recovery and putting livelihoods at risk. Instead of pretending this will help Londoners, Khan needs to get a grip of TfL’s finances and lower the charge back to £11.50.”
In the aftermath of the pandemic TfL needs to make savings of £300million this financial year. The increased congestion charge has already netted TfL an additional £155million in revenue.