TfL opens consultation on changes to Congestion Charge


Transport for London (TfL) has opened a consultation to seek views on the future operation of the Congestion Charge.

The main proposals include no charges in the evenings to support London's recovery, operating between 12:00-18:00 on weekends and retaining the current charge level of £15.

These changes will support London's culture, hospitality and night-time businesses and also ensure gains made in reducing car dependency over more than 15 years are not lost and the capital's recovery from the pandemic is a green and sustainable one.

The proposed new weekend charging hours are targeted at reducing congestion at the busiest times. Weekend car and private hire traffic before the pandemic was higher than during the week and made up 70% of traffic in the charging zone on a Saturday and Sunday.

If the proposed new weekend hours are brought in, it is estimated there will be an increase in sustainable travel compared to before the pandemic, with around 8,000 new public transport trips and 3,000 walking and cycling trips each day on the weekend.

To boost London's culture, hospitality and night-time businesses, as well supporting shift workers who perform essential roles in the central London economy, the plans include the charge stopping at 18:00 on weekdays.

This is in line with the pre-pandemic hours, rather than the current 22:00 finish time. Evening traffic data will be kept under review, given that weekday travel patterns in particular remain uncertain.

Following feedback from those living in central London, the plans include opening up the 90% residents' discount to new applicants. The discount has been closed to new applicants since 1 August 2020.

Other proposals include no charge between Christmas Day and New Year's Day inclusive; the charge to be in operation on bank holidays from 12:00-18:00; and being able to pay up to three days after travel.