Private Hire Cars now to pay Congestion Charge
It was announced this morning by Mayor Sadiq Khan that he will no longer offer exemption to Private Hire vehicles (PHVs) for the Transport for London (TfL) Congestion Charge.
The Congestion Charge was originally introduced in 2003 and whilst it has been in place, all PHVs have been exempt from paying this charge. However today, Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that he will be removing the PHV exemption from 8th April 2019. This will mean an additional £11.50 per day for all PHVs using the Congestion Charge during the applicable hours.
Transport for London have said that the proposals would help improve the capital’s air quality. TfL advised that when the Congestion Charge was originally introduced, it was estimated that there would be around 4,000 PHVs entering the zone daily, but by 2017, the number was closer to 18,000 PHVs daily, increasing both traffic and air pollution heavily. Although, since the introduction of the charge, the total number of vehicles entering the zone each day has decreased by around 30%, TfL has said.
The Independent Workers Union (IWGB) have said the plan would “do little to address London’s air pollution problem” and instead, hit poorly paid workers badly.
This has been a topic fought heavily in recent months, with the Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA) playing a big part in fighting the abolishment of the exception. Their petition for this has almost 10,000 signatures and they have given evidence to the London Assembly whilst discussing how to best support the PHV industry so that It can continue to thrive.
The London Assembly has called for the Mayor to rethink his decision calling it a “cynical move” and PHV industry leaders have warned that this will have a large effect on the public, speculating that fares would rise by around 10-20%, while some could even treble.
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