A leaked email revealed the increase in sales for Transport for London over the past year as a result of the increased congestion fee.
Mayor Sadiq Khan increased the daily fee from £ 11.50 to £ 15 on June 22 as part of “temporary measures” taken during the coronavirus pandemic – and is in effect to this day.
An email from Autocar officials said the 2020 increase raised an additional £ 86m for TfL and aims to increase revenue by £ 113m for the full fiscal year if the higher fee is due by April is retained.
Revenue increase in congestion charges: A leaked email revealed that TfL pocketed an additional £ 86 million from the capital’s charge zone in 2020 after increasing the daily charge to £ 15
Correspondence from Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor of Transport, said £ 113 million would be raised “as a result of implementing the temporary changes to the congestion charge if they were to apply for the remainder of the fiscal year”.
The email also confirmed that the increase in sales “takes into account the cost of TfL to implement the temporary changes, as well as the reduction in traffic and the temporary suspension due to the pandemic,” says Autocar.
The last part of the statement relates to when both the congestion fee and the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) fee from 21 Match were suspended.
Both charges were overturned ahead of the first national lockdown to ensure critical workers like NHS workers can move around the capital with ease. However, they were reinstalled and the congestion charge was increased to £ 15 two months later.
Alexander’s email added that TfL is now expected to bring in a total of £ 232 million from congestion charges paid by motorists this fiscal year.
This is Money has approached Transport for London for a comment stating that “all revenue from the fee will be reinvested in transport”.
A spokesman told us: “The government has asked the TfL to come up with proposals to expand the scope and amount of the congestion fee.
“These temporary changes are essential to keep London’s recovery from the pandemic from being hampered by cars and traffic jams. They also support changes to the streets of London to reach more people on foot and by bike at a safer social distance.
“The analysis found that car traffic in central London could double the economy, health and air quality if the government eased restrictions last year if people would rather drive than use public transport.”
In addition to increasing the daily fee by £ 3.50 per day in summer, the daily fee has been extended to every day – except Christmas Day – instead of just weekdays, and operating hours have been extended by five hours to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The congestion fee was waived for two months from March 21st to cater to critical workers like NHS workers. However, two months later the daily fee was increased
The congestion charge zone covers the same area as the ultra-low emission zone. It means a daily fee of £ 27.50 to enter Central London for those driving older polluting cars
The congestion fee and the ULEZ currently cover the same area. However, the latter is set to be extended to a much larger part of London from October
The zone spans the same area as the controversial ULEZ and includes the London Inner Ring Road, which includes both the City of London and the West End.
With the ULEZ fee, which only applies to older, more polluting vehicles, some drivers have paid £ 27.50 per day to enter central London in their cars.
Daily rates were increased last summer to close down driver revenue as traffic fell during the Covid-19 outbreak.
An increase was also part of an agreement for the capital to receive the first of two emergency funding bills from the government.
Mr Khan said in November that ministers had “forced” him to keep the congestion charge from £ 1.6 billion at £ 15 as part of the TfL bailout.
The Mayor of London described the bailout as “not a perfect deal” but insisted that he “fought hard to get the best possible spot” by rejecting the “worst” proposals.
A date has not yet been announced when – or if – the fee will be reduced to £ 11.50 per day.
Sadiq Khan said in November that he had been “forced” by the government to maintain the increased congestion charge under the agreement in order to obtain a second bailout for the capital
Failure to pay the congestion fee, which is monitored by cameras with automatic license plate recognition, results in drivers receiving a £ 160 penalty fee which is reduced to £ 80 if paid within 14 days.
The ULEZ is slated to expand to North and South Circular Road from October 21 this year, meaning millions of Londoners will be charged the daily rate of £ 12.50 every time they get into their car.
In addition to the controversial expansion, Mayor Khan said in December that he could force non-Londoners to drive £ 3.50 a day to the capital unless he is allowed to withhold £ 500m from London car taxes.
The mayor claimed that it was unfair that the vehicle excise tax levied by drivers in the city was mainly spent elsewhere.
He suggested that a program like the Greater London Boundary Charge could reduce journeys by up to 15 percent and raise £ 500 million a year.
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