London's congestion charge set to rise by 15%

 

London's congestion charge daily fee is set to rise by 15 per cent.

Transport for London (TfL) is consulting on increasing the standard daily charge from £10 to £11.50. Other ways of paying will also rise if the proposals go ahead.

TfL said the daily charge had not risen since 2011 and increasing it would generate an estimated £84 million of additional revenue by the end of 2017/18.

Any net revenue generated would be invested in improvements to London's transport, as required by law.

It is proposed that the charge for those using the charge's autopay system would rise from £9 to £10.50. TfL is also proposing that autopay customers, who number more than 220,000, will be able to pay via direct debit.

Garrett Emmerson, TfL's surface transport chief operating officer, said: "We are keen to hear what Londoners and motorists have to say about the proposed changes to the scheme. The proposed changes will ensure the charge remains an effective deterrent to making unnecessary journeys in central London."AA president Edmund King said: "This proposed hike in the congestion charge underlines what every London driver knows - that the charge is nothing to do with congestion or CO2 and everything to do with cash, in effect a tax.

"Congestion in the capital is already well above pre-charge levels but this is not related to an increase in the number of private cars.

"A city trying to get back on its feet after recession doesn't need its key service firms to suffer from further financial burden. Some of that will be passed on to customers, which hits growth and high-street spending."

Business group London First said the charge "remains a blunt instrument" and that London's roads "lack the capacity to meet demand".

London Assembly Labour transport spokeswoman Val Shawcross said the charge had helped to reduce traffic in central London and that London Mayor Boris Johnson should be freezing public transport fares at inflation level.

PA

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