24.3.2020London halts road charging schemes
London's Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone charge have been suspended until further notice, as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The move from Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn has come about to free up movement for key workers within the capital. Transport for London's (TfL) measures mean that no road charging schemes in London will be in place for the foreseeable future.
The suspension will make it as easy as possible for critical workers, such as those working in the NHS, will be able to get to their jobs as easily as possible. Likewise, supply chain efforts are supported to keep supermarkets and pharmacies stocked.
Despite the opening up of central London for vehicle travel, the thinking behind the measures is very clear in that it is to support essential travel. Following the latest government guidelines, TfL is only backing travel if absolutely necessary, and as such the roads should remain largely clear of traffic.
Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL's General Manager of Road User Charging, said: "What we are seeing through this crisis is that London's critical workforce is wider than just the core emergency services.
"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 Mayor of London, Sadiq 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. To help our critical workers get to work and for essential deliveries to take place, I have instructed TfL to temporarily suspend the Congestion Charge, ULEZ and Low Emission Zone from Monday.
"This is not an invitation to take to your cars. To save lives we need the roads clear for ambulances, doctors, nurses and other critical workers.