Congestion charge hike down to TfL's government deal, insists Deputy Mayor of London

22 June 2020, 16:34

By Seán Hickey

A 30% increase in London's congestion charge is down to an agreement made between TfL and the government, the Deputy Mayor of London said.

"As part of the deal that govt did with Transport for London we were required to bring forward proposals to widen the scope and the level of charge" said Heidi Alexander, the Deputy Mayor of London for Transport.

She told Shelagh Fogarty that the hike in the congestion charge is "all about the funding deal and the money the government was going to give TfL to fund the services."

Ms Alexander stated that her office "put proposals out to the public" to see whether the public would support such a move. She pointed to an increase in traffic as the point where the office "tried to do something to curb that traffic because congestion has a very negative economic impact."

The plans to get "more people walking and cycling" was a great motivation to clear the streets also. Ms Alexander told Shelagh "we've been putting safer cycling lanes on the roads in Central London".

"We want to make sure we don't go backwards on air pollution" the Deputy Mayor stated.

Shelagh then wondered if the increase was a "prohibitive cost to try make it unattractive to bring your car into London" to which Ms Alexander insisted that the increase will make people think hard about whether they need to drive through Central London."

The congestion charge in Central London is now £15 per day
The congestion charge in Central London is now £15 per day. Picture: PA

Shelagh then pointed out that the only place that masks are compulsory for the public is on public transport, but noted reports of people ignoring rules. She asked "are there any plans to be stricter on making people wear masks."

The Deputy Mayor of London warned that if people don't start to comply with the current rules, it is "perfectly possible that people could be refused entry, could be issued with a fine or a summons."

She assured Shelagh that there will possibly no need for this, stating "we think that Londoners are going to want to do the right thing."

She finished by reminding listeners that "everyone who is using the public transport network should be wearing a face covering."

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