Responding to news that the Congestion Charge exemption for private hire vehicles will be removed, Ben Rogers, Director, Centre for London said:
“London’s congestion levels hurt the capital’s economic competitiveness, public health and quality of life. Since an initial drop when the Congestion Charge was introduced, congestion has been crawling upwards.
“Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs) bring the same problems as other vehicles and exempting them was always questionable. But extending the Charge to PHVs is particularly welcome now, given the rapid increase in private hire trips in central London in recent years.
“The Congestion Charge, however, is looking increasingly clapped out. It only operates for limited times and is of limited geographic scope. More and more low emission vehicles are exempted from it.
“If the Mayor and Transport for London are serious about tackling congestion and pollution, they will need to introduce a much wider and more sophisticated system of road user charging. The Congestion Charge was a bold and farsighted move when it was introduced back in 2003. We need to be equally bold and farsighted now.”
Notes to Editors:
- Last year, the independent Commission on the Future of London’s Roads and Streets, convened by Centre for London, called for the Mayor to removing the exemption from PHVs.
- The Commission’s final report Street Smarts: Report of the Commission of the Future of London’s Roads and Streets can be found here.