London’s congestion charge will come back into effect from Monday 18 May following a two-month suspension, with daily rates increased from £11.50 to £15 from 22 June.
The 30% price hike has been confirmed as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan secures a £1.6 billion bailout for a struggling Transport for London (TfL) in light of significantly reduced passenger numbers throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
London’s congestion and ULEZ charges were suspended on 23 March - when the government imposed a nationwide ‘stay at home’ directive - in order to help key workers travel safely across the city. It is being reintroduced as part of a number of conditions imposed upon Sadiq Khan in return for the bailout, which entails TfL taking on £505 million of debt.
From 22 June, the congestion charge will be enforced seven days a week, as opposed to just on weekdays, with operating hours extended from 6pm to 10pm.
The 24/7 ULEZ charge will also come back into force on Monday, but the daily fee for drivers of older, more polluting vehicles remains fixed at £12.50.
Public transport fares across London will rise 1% above inflation in January as part of a drive to recoup lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic, which is estimated to total around £4bn by the end of the financial year.
Now that the government has begun the gradual process of easing the lockdown, it is considering ways of maintaining social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Yesterday (14 May), transport secretary Grant Schapps said that avoiding public transport at this time is a "civic duty" and advised people to drive, cycle or walk to work wherever possible.