'Bitter pill to swallow': London's 'temporary' £15 Congestion Charge will become permanent
London's 'temporary' £15 Congestion Charge is to become permanent, but evening tolls are set to be abolished, under plans revealed today.
The C Charge was increased from £11.50 in June 2020 as part of a bailout deal between the government and Transport for London.
The hours of operation were also extended from 7am-6pm Monday to Friday to 7am-10pm seven days a week
New proposals from TfL would see the return of pre-pandemic hours on weekdays and a shortened 12pm-6pm charging period at weekends
The changes would be introduced in February, following a public consultation.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said it would support London's hospitality trade and night-time economy, but one business group described the plan as a 'bitter pill to swallow'.
"As we look to the future it's vital the charge strikes the right balance between supporting London's economy and helping ensure it is a green and sustainable one," said Sadiq Khan.
"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," the Mayor of London added.
Michael Lloyd, Federation of Small Businesses said: "The move to support the night-time economy by removing the Congestion Charge in the evening is welcome, however, for many businesses who carry out activities in the day on the weekends such as logistical companies and market traders, having a permanent £15 charge between the hours of 12:00-18:00 on weekends will be another bitter pill to swallow."
The proposed changes include allowing new residents of the zone to claim a 90% discount and a C Charge 'holiday' from Christmas Day to New Year's Day