Improvements to London’s Congestion Charge
London’s Congestion Charge has been a key step towards improving public health. Yet, it is clear that more ambition is needed, as the health of people living and working in London continues to be harmed by illegal and harmful levels of air pollution.
As recent polling from Transport & Environment has again confirmed, the majority of Londoners want to see ambitious action to protect them from air pollution. They want fewer and cleaner vehicles on the road and more public space for walking, cycling and public transport.
This is especially important given emerging scientific evidence has also suggested that air pollution can increase vulnerability to the most severe impacts of Covid-19.
The proposal to extend the operating hours of the Congestion Charge as part of the Mayor of London’s Streetspace Plan is long overdue and, alongside expanding and strengthening the Ultra and Low Emission Zones, will help deliver a transformation on our streets that is desperately needed.
The Mayor of London and the government do not need reminding that they have a legal and moral duty to take all the action they can to improve air quality and rid London of illegal air pollution. Action must include making these changes permanent at the earliest opportunity and ensuring that the capital is on a fast-track to a healthier future, free from toxic air.