DRIVERS must pay a congestion charge to move around London in a motor vehicle.
The fee to circumnavigate the capital is £15 and here’s everything you need to know about it.
What is the congestion charge?
The congestion zone fee in London is £15.
From 22 June the charge has increased from £11.50 to £15 and the hours for which the charge applies have been extended.
Transport for London (TfL) said the temporary measure was introduced as part of the £1.6 billion bailout package from the Government.
The surge came after the loading zone was severely congested when coronavirus restrictions were eased in 2020 and fears the roads would become “unusably congested”.
It was thought the increased fee could reduce car journeys by a third and encourage more people to travel on foot or by bike.
But the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) said: “Now is not the time to hit people with extra costs in the short term.
“The government expects the industry to stimulate the economy and the decision to reintroduce and increase driver and fleet operator fees risks choking off companies doing their best to keep up with the important task of driving.” to continue transporting people and goods through the capital.”
“The fee change will also affect new residents who are living within the C-Charge resident discount zone”said TfL.
Edmund King, President of AA, said: “Although TfL has been between a rock and a sticky spot financially, these increases take the charges from a ‘congestion charge’ to a ‘tax charge’.
“Traffic on weekends and evenings is at its lowest and so this is no longer a congestion charge.
“What alternatives are there for longer distances? Public transport is overwhelmed. More walking and cycling is not feasible for all people and routes.
“There are only 10,000 park and ride (underground) spaces in London so emergency action should be taken to set up parking/cycling facilities at the O2, Stratford and other locations.”
When does the congestion charge start and end?
You will have to pay a daily charge of £15 if you drive within the congestion zone in the capital Monday to Friday from 7am to 6pm.
On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays the times are from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
There are no fees between Christmas and New Year.
What is the London Congestion Charge?
The congestion charge was introduced in 2003 to address London’s congestion problems in hopes of reducing congestion and increasing use of the city’s public transport.
Back then it was £5 a day.
The congestion zone includes an area of 21 km² – Zone 1 on the Transport for London tube map.
Former Mayor Ken Livingstone said he hoped the fee would reduce congestion, improve bus service, make journey times more consistent for drivers and increase efficiency for those who distribute goods and services across the city.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the capital’s air quality programme, including the introduction of the ULEZ, had already contributed to a 44 per cent reduction in roadside nitrogen dioxide in central London between February 2017 and January 2020
As London and the rest of the UK began easing coronavirus restrictions, pollution picked up again.
Payment is only required once a day, no matter how many times you enter and exit the zones.
Khan said the increase in congestion charging would “encourage Londoners not to make unnecessary car journeys and it is expected that journeys within the congestion charging zone will be reduced by a third.
“This would significantly reduce air pollution in central London compared to pre-Covid levels and help address the climate emergency.”
If you don’t pay by midnight on the third day of charging after entering the zone, you’ll get one fine notice (PCN) of £160 which is reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.
You can pay for the C charge in a number of ways.
But it’s quickest and easiest if you set it up Automatic paymentwhere drivers are automatically billed for the number of charge days your vehicle drives within the C-Charge area.
TfL warns, “i.eDo not pay through unofficial websites that may mislead you. You should always pay the congestion charge to us through our secure online system.”
What is the ULEZ?
That Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) launched on April 8, 2019 in central London to replace the T-Charge (toxicity charge).
Most vehicles, including cars and vans, must meet ULEZ emissions standards or their drivers must pay a daily fee of £12.50 to drive most types of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles and vans, within the zone.
Euro norms – first introduced in 1992 – is a set of emissions controls that set limits on air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from engines.
The ULEZ standards are:
- Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorized tricycles and quadricycles (category L)
- Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other special vehicles
- Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other special vehicles
- Euro VI (NOx and PM) for trucks, buses and coaches and other heavy special vehicles (NOx and PM)
If your car meets the environmental zone (LEZ), but:
- a van or special diesel vehicle (over 1,205 tonnes) or minibus (up to 5 tonnes) that does not meet the Euro 3 standard, then you will have to pay £100.
- a lorry, lorry, van or extra heavy vehicle over 3.5 tonnes or a minibus or coach or coach over 5 tonnes that does not comply with Euro VI (NOx and PM) then you will have to pay £100.
- a lorry, lorry, van, extra heavy vehicle over 3.5 tonnes or a minibus, bus or coach over 5 tonnes not compliant with Euro IV (PM) must pay £300.
If you drive a vehicle that does not meet ULEZ standards in the Central London area and the daily charge is not paid, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued to the registered keeper.
This penalty is in addition to any C charge or environmental zone (LEZ) penalties received for the most polluting heavy diesel vehicles.
What can you do to avoid congestion charges?
TfL says to avoid the congestion charge people should consider the following:
- on foot, by bike or by public transport
- Upgrade your vehicle to meet emission standards and avoid the ULEZ fee
- Join a car club
Are there discounts on the congestion charge?
Motorists who can apply for a discount include:
- Residents within the zone – but be quick, because the 90 percent discount does not apply to new applicants from August 1, 2020
- Blue Badge Holders
- Accredited breakdown vehicles
- Vehicles with nine or more seats
- Vehicles with extremely low emissions – but from 25 October 2021 only battery electric vehicles will be eligible. And from December 25, 2025, the Sauber vehicle discount will no longer apply
- Motorized tricycles with a width of one meter or less
- Recovery vehicles on the side of the road
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/818767/congestion-charge-zone-london-tfl/ Zone boundaries, price changes and times explained – The Irish Sun