Transport for London (TfL) has announced plans to exclude cars from central London and increase the Congestion Charge.
Some streets will be converted to walking and cycling only, with others restricted to all traffic apart from buses, as part of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s latest Streetspace measures.
Streets between London Bridge and Shoreditch, Euston and Waterloo and Old Street and Holborn may be limited to buses, pedestrians and cyclists to boost safe and sustainable travel.
Access for emergency services and disabled people will be maintained, but deliveries on some streets may need to be made outside of congestion charging hours.
The plans will create more space for social distancing when walking and cycling, ensuring that people returning to work in central London can do so as safely as possible.
Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge may be restricted to people walking, cycling and buses only, with pavements widened to enable people to safely travel between railway stations and workplaces. TfL is looking into providing Zero Emission Capable taxis with access to both these bridges, and other areas where traffic is restricted.
In line with the City of London’s plans to make its busiest roads car-free as lockdown is eased, TfL is also working with the City of London Corporation on options to improve routes between Old Street and Bank, and between Cannon Street and Holborn to Bank for walking and cycling.
To prevent London’s roads becoming congested again post-lockdown, TfL also confirmed the reintroduction of the Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) at a higher rate.
The Congestion Charge will return on Monday From Monday 18 May and will increase from £11.50 to £15 next month, with the hours of operation extended as part of a package of temporary changes. These changes will be monitored and form part of a wider review of the Congestion Charge as agreed with the Government as part of the TfL funding deal.
This is expected to reduce journeys within the Congestion Charge zone by a third and significantly reduce air pollution in central London compared to pre-Covid levels.
NHS and care home employees who work in the Congestion Charge zone will be reimbursed for journeys relating to coronavirus, including for their journeys to and from work.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I fully appreciate that this will be incredibly difficult for many Londoners. It will mean a fundamental reimagining how we live our lives in this city.
And this transformation will not be smooth. But I promise to be as clear and upfront with Londoners as possible about what we are doing, why and exactly what we need from you in order to keep us safe.”