ULEZ charges will be suspended until further notice to ensure workers from the NHS and other key sectors can move around the capital amid the crisis. The move will also help support supply chain’s to keep supermarkets fully stocked and London moving during the emergency.
The move comes just days after a number of vital London Underground stations were closed to ensure less travel on the Tube.
TfL says the charges have been scrapped because driving will be the simplest option for many motorists during the pandemic.
However, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has urged people to keep the roads clear for emergency services and critical workers who will need to use their vehicles.
Mr Khan said: “People should not be travelling, by any means, unless they really have to. London’s roads should now only be used for essential journeys.
Alongside the congestion charge suspension, NHS staff will also be given an access code to waive the 24-hour access fee for Santader cycles.
This will entitle workers to a free 30-minute cycle into work to further ease pressure on the road network and public transport.
TfL road expert, Paul Cowperthwaite said: “Emergency services workers are absolutely fundamental to our response, but supermarket workers, utilities engineers, refuse collectors, and many more, also need to be able to travel to keep the city functioning.
“This is why we have temporarily suspended road user charging in the capital.”
The ULEZ fees charged motorists with polluting vehicles £12.50 per day to use the roads in a bid to reduce climate emissions.
The move will be welcomed by motoring campaigners at FairFuel UK who have been pushing for a scrap to the ULEZ amid the ongoing crisis.
Speaking to Express.co,uk on Thusday before the scrap was announced, FairFuel founder, Howard Cox said: “The safest place to be at the moment is inside your car and they’re telling us we can’t be on the underground.
“There’s nurses, doctors, how are they supposed to get there, refuge people, cleaners, how are they going to get there.
“Public transport is brilliant when it’s working, if they are going to shut it off let’s help people.”
Conservative Mayor of London candidate Shaun Bailey also pushed for a temporary suspension of congestion charges to help NHS staff.
However, many social media users raised concerns motorists could use the suspension for their own needs.
The Mayor has begged Londoners to keep the roads free for key workers, delivery drivers and health staff but some Twitter users were worried some will not listen to the advice.
One user said: “Just [waive] the charges for these workers. We don’t need panic buyers shopping around London in private cars.”
Matt Claypole added: “You just know this is gonna be abused. The correct response would have been to suspend those charges for the key workers only rather than everyone”
However, one nurse applauded the changes saying it would greatly help crossing the river to get to the hospital she works in based in north London.
Published at Mon, 23 Mar 2020 11:47:00 +0000