Congestion charge rates will increase as of next month in London, as the country relies more heavily on public transport during the coronavirus pandemic. The rates have been accepted reluctantly by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who said the rates were “not the deal I wanted”.
Why is the congestion charge going up?
According to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the rates had to go up to “keep tubes and buses running”.
Mr Khan said the coronavirus pandemic had left Londoners swerving public transport per Government advice, which has caused a sharp reduction in fares income.
As a result, the Mayor has had to raise charges for people travelling into the city by 30 percent to replace the missing funds.
Mr Khan said it was “not the deal I wanted but it was the only deal the government put on the table.
“I had no choice but to accept it to keep the Tubes and buses running.
“Fares income has fallen by 90 percent 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.”
Londoners will have to pay nearly £5 more starting next month, when Government advice is unlikely to change.
City authorities suspended the congestion charge due to COVID-19, as people found themselves using private transport to get to work.
However, as part of the new measures, people will have to start paying once more starting next week.
On Monday, they will have to pay up the current £11.50 amount.
The latest set of measures have arrived as a Government-imposed position on a bailout for Transport for London.
Yesterday, the Government agreed to provide a £1.6 billion bailout for the city authority to weather the crisis.
The £1.1 billion grant and £505 million loan requires TfL to meet a select number of other conditions to balance its emergency budget for 2020/21.
Starting from 2021, they will suspend under-18 free passes on a temporary basis, as well as the over-60 “freedom pass”.
The freedom pass guarantees older members of society free travel during peak hours, which is no longer possible from January next year.
Published at Fri, 15 May 2020 10:58:00 +0000