London Mayor confirms removal of private hire congestion charge exemption

Private Hire vehicles will no longer be exempt from the Congestion Charge from next year following an announced from the Mayor of London.

Transport for London has revealed a plan to reduce congestion in the city today (19 December) and part of the plan is to charge vehicles which don’t comply to a strict criteria to pay the Congestion Charge.

Following a public consultation that received more than 10,000 responses, the changes to the Congestion Charge include the replacement of the Ultra Low Emission Discount with a new phased Cleaner Vehicle Discount (CVD) that will incentivise only the cleanest vehicles to drive in central London.

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The Mayor announced that PHVs that do not meet the CVD standard or are not wheelchair accessible will also be discouraged from driving in central London with the removal of their exemption from the Congestion Charge.

In the first phase, only zero emission-capable vehicles will be exempt from the Congestion Charge from 8 April 2019. The restrictions will tighten further in October 2021 to support the Mayor’s ambition for zero-emission road transport by 2050, with only pure electric vehicles qualifying for the discount.

Alex Williams, TfL’s Director of City Planning, said: “Bold action is required to tackle London’s public health crisis. The taxi and private hire trades are central to reducing the filthy fumes circulating in our city. This package of measures will contribute to fewer vehicles driving where pollution is most concentrated and encourage the switch from diesel to electric.”

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