Petition opposes congestion charge extension in London

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition opposing plans to extend the congestion charge zone in London.

The Government is demanding Transport for London expands the charge as far as the south circular in exchange for a £1 billion package.

A petition has been set up in opposition to the proposals, which would see drivers facing £15 charges for journeys within south east London.

The petition reads: “The extension of the congestion charge to the North and South Circular Roads will certainly negatively impact everyone that live in the proposed area, on the borders and our visitors.

“As if people aren’t struggling enough after the hit of the governments lock downs and shutdowns this year, causing major job losses. They now propose to extend congestion charge so it covers the same area as ULEZ. 

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“Traveling to work 5 days a week will cost on average £4000. Who can afford this?

“Working just to pay travel.”

From October 2021, London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) is already being expanded from its current limit, which is the same as the congestion zone, to the south and north circular roads.

Vehicles need to meet the ULEZ emissions standards or their drivers must pay a £12.50 fee.

TfL’s finances have been severely hit by the drop in travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

A £1.6 billion bailout agreed with Mr Khan in May put funding in place until Saturday.

Earlier this week a two-week extension of support for TfL was agreed, allowing negotiations over future funding to continue.

Speaking on Monday, Deputy mayor of London Heidi Alexander told a meeting of TfL’s finance committee: “Neither the mayor or I can see how it would be right to charge people £15 to drive a mile from Wandsworth to Clapham, or from Catford to Lewisham, from October next year if the congestion charge was to be extended out to the North and South Circular.

“That is in effect what the Government have said to us that they want.

“We can’t see why we should take free travel away from under 18s or over 60s when lots of people in London are actually facing some genuine hardship over the coming months.”

It was reported last month that Mr Khan was seeking a £5.7 billion bailout to keep London’s transport system going for the next 18 months.

Ministers are further demanding that travel entitlements for children and older people are downgraded in return for the bailout.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “Negotiations are ongoing to do a deal to keep TfL services running.

“Conditions such as extending a £15 congestion charge to the North and South Circular and taking free travel away from children and older people would be totally unacceptable to the mayor and he would not ask Londoners to accept them in these exceptionally difficult times.”

To view the petition click here.

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