London congestion charge times, cost, zones map and how to avoid it

  • london
  • May 18, 2020
  • Comments Off on London congestion charge times, cost, zones map and how to avoid it

Driving into the centre of London is set to become more expensive from next month, with the congestion charge set to be raised.

Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the increase last week as well as announcing that the days and times on which the charge will apply are also temporarily changing.

The chances come as part of the conditions of Transport for London receiving a £1.6bn bailout in the wake of the coronavirus crisis – and as people returning to work are urged to avoid public transport where possible.

Just what are the congestion charge times in London, how much does it cost – and what will be changing?

What are the congestion charge times in London?

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Currently the charge applies between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

However, the new congestion charges will be temporarily extended in the evening, meaning the charge will apply in central London from 7am until 10pm.

Charges will also apply for seven days a week rather than just weekdays as it has been previously.

Mr Khan said that it was not the deal he had wanted ‘but it was the only deal the Government put on the table’.

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‘I had no choice but to accept it to keep the Tubes and buses running,’ he explained

‘Fares income has fallen by 90% in the last two months because Londoners have done the right thing and stayed at home – so there simply isn’t enough money coming in to pay for our services.’

How much is the congestion charge?

Currently it costs £11.50 to drive into the congestion charge zones.

How much will it increase by?

The charge is set to increase to £15 – a price hike of 30%.

The changes will come into force from June 22.

The congestion charge and the ultra-low emission charge were both suspended in March in the wake of coronavirus, but both are being re-introduced today.

The ultra-low emission charge costs £12.50 a day and applies 24 hours a day, seven days a week to older vehicles.

Where does the congestion charge cover?

The charge applies to central London and surrounding areas around Westminster, Lambeth, Clerkenwell and the City of London.

How can you avoid paying the congestion charge?

If you want to avoid paying the congestion charge the simplest way is not to drive into central London or the surrounding areas which are also covered by the charge.

There is no charge for cycling in the congestion charge zone – with people being encouraged to get on their bikes to get to work to avoid having to use public transport.

Walking to work is also being strongly encouraged, with some streets in the capital set to be converted into walking and cycling only – with only buses allowed on the roads – and pavements set to be widened to allow for this.

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