Proposals include the introduction of an automated account system to make it easier for customers to pay the charge and to avoid having to pay fines, and an increase in the Congestion Charge designed to maintain the benefits of reduced traffic in central London.
These measures would sit alongside the proposed removal of the Western Extension of the Zone (earlier post) and a range of mitigation measures, and would all be introduced by December 2010 subject to legal processes.
The proposed changes, subject to the necessary consultations on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and any subsequent Variation Order, are as follows:
Removal of the Western Extension of the Congestion Charging zone
Introduction of automated payment account system, provisionally entitled CC Auto Pay
Increase of the daily charge to £9 (US$14.70) for CC Auto Pay customers. (The Congestion Charge is currently £8 (US$13.00) per day.)
Increase of the daily charge to £10 (US$16.30) for customers who do not take up CC Auto Pay and continue to pay through existing payment channels
Removal of the £1 (US$1.60) fleet discount, available to operators with fleets of 10 or more vehicles, so that fleet operators will pay the same per vehicle as customers using CC Auto Pay
I pledged to make the Congestion Charge fairer and easier to pay and these measures will make that a reality. Once introduced, drivers registering for CC Auto Pay can rest assured they’ll never receive a penalty charge again.
The proposed increase in the Charge will ensure that the system remains effective in controlling traffic levels in central London, and the revenue will also help us fund the vital improvements to London’s transport network that all Londoners want to see.
—Mayor of London, Boris Johnson
The automated payment account system will mean that motorists who register for an account can pay the Congestion Charge by debit or credit card, or by Direct Debit and avoid the possibility of ever receiving a penalty charge. The new system, provisionally entitled CC Auto Pay, would calculate the number of journeys a vehicle makes within the zone each week, and debit customers’ accounts on a weekly basis. Motorists who continue to use existing payment methods would be charged £10 per day.