TfL suspends congestion charge, ULEZ and LEZ amid coronavirus outbreak

Transport for London (TfL) has suspended all road user charges for an indefinite period of time as of today, 23 March.

The suspension applies to the congestion charge as well as the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and Low Emission Zone (LEZ).

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has asked TfL to implement the suspension so that critical workers, including those working for the NHS, can get around as easily as possible during the coronavirus crisis.

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In a statement, TfL said: “To keep the public transport network running TfL has reduced the number of stations open and are ensuring they are appropriately staffed.  

“For some critical workers, in the current circumstances, driving to work will be the simplest option, which is why the charges have been lifted.”

In addition, the 24 hour access fee for Santander Cycles will be waived for NHS workers, who will be given a special code to access the service. Bike rides of up to 30 minutes are free of charge.

It’s hoped that the suspension will also help keep supermarkets fully stocked.

At the moment, motorists pay £11.50 a day in the congestion charge zone, while ULEZ costs £12.50 a day for most vehicles (£100 for heavier vehicles including lorries) and LEZ costs £100 or £200 depending on the size of your vehicle.

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. This is an unprecedented time and I know Londoners are doing everything they can to look after each other. I continue to urge all Londoners to follow the advice of public health authorities and not leave their homes unless it is absolutely essential.”

The suspension comes as the government advised the nation to avoid non-essential international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The UK currently has 5,018 confirmed cases according to the World Health Organisation’s latest report, dated 22 March.

The advice has since been upgraded to include non-essential domestic travel as well.

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