Transport for London (TfL) is seeking views for a consultation on the congestion charge, with proposals to scrap evening charges and reduce the weekend hours to support hospitality and night-time businesses in the city – but keep last year's price hike.
The plans include the charge stopping at 6pm on weekdays and operating 12pm-6pm on weekends.
The ‘temporary' changes came into force in June last year, which saw the daily levy increase from £11.50 to £15, the operating hours extend to 10pm, rather than 6pm, and the charge expanded to seven days a week, having previously operated only on weekdays. Hospitality businesses described it as a "hammer blow" to the industry at a time they were already struggling.
A spokesperson for TfL said that the temporary changes to the congestion charge were "essential to prevent London's recovery from the pandemic from being restricted by cars and congestion" and to support TfL's income being decimated when ridership plummeted.
The consultation closes on 6 October. Respond to the consultation here.
The mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "The government insisted on the widening of the level and scope of the congestion charge last year as a condition of TfL's emergency funding agreement – which was only needed because of the pandemic.
"As we look to the future it's vital the charge strikes the right balance between supporting London's economic recovery and helping ensure it is a green and sustainable one.
"These proposals support the capital's culture, hospitality and night-time businesses which have struggled so much, as well as encouraging people to walk, cycle and use public transport."