Congestion Charge reinstated
After a short suspension during the Lock-down to support key workers travelling to work, the London Congestion Charge was reinstated on Monday 18th May 2020.
On the 18th March, London’s Congestion and Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) charges were both temporarily suspended due to limited public transport services and closures around the city due to COVID-19.
Congestion Charge changes announced
The Government has announced there are some changes set to come into action on the 22nd June 2020 which includes a rise in the Congestion Charge and temporarily extended hours. Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London has explained these measures are designed to help avoid attracting too much traffic to London streets following the government encouraging people to go back to work but to also avoid public transport where possible.
Congestion Charge now:
- non-exempt vehicles are charged £11.50 per day for driving in the zone
- between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm,
- The charge applies on weekdays only: Monday to Friday.
Congestion Charge on 22nd June:
- will rise from £11.50 to £15
- will have extended hours between 7:00 am – 10:00 pm,
- and operate 7 days a week to include weekends
TfL (Transport for London) commented that the price increase and additional time covered by the Congestion Charge were designed to “create more space for social distancing when walking and cycling, ensuring that the people who have no choice but to return to work in central London can do so as safely as possible”.
These changes are expected to remain in place for one year. After 12 months they will be reviewed and a decision made on whether they should remain in place permanently.
Are electric cars exempt from London’s Congestion Charge?
Yes, currently Electric and Plug-in Hybrid cars or vans qualify for a 100% discount on the Congestion Charge but you must apply for the discount. From 25 October 2021, the cleaner vehicle discount will change so that only battery electric vehicles are eligible.
How to apply for the congestion charge discount
You can apply for the discount online by setting up a London Road User Charging account.
Having an account means you can:
- Manage and easily renew your discount online
- Set up CC Auto Pay for up to 5 vehicles so you can pay the Congestion Charge at a lower rate
- Make faster payments by storing your contact, vehicle and payment details
- Allow up to 5 people access to your London Road User Charging account
- Business account users can apply for CC Auto Pay but also have the option of Fleet Auto Pay, an automated payment service for companies with a fleet of 6 or more vehicles
ULEZ – What is it?
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) replaced the ‘T-Charge’ in London on the 8th April 2019. First announced in 2013 the ULEZ’s aim is to improve the city’s air quality and reduce emissions from polluting vehicles. Any vehicles which do not meet requirements will be liable for a daily charge to drive within the ULEZ area.
- ULEZ is a charge for vehicles driving in London which do not meet the new ultra-low emissions standards
- Initially, the first phase will operate in the same areas as the current Congestion Charge.
- In October 2021 ULEZ will expand to the North and South Circular boundary.
- Unlike the Congestion charge which has limited running hours the ULEZ Charge operates 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week/ 365 days a year