Transport for London (TfL) is set to reduce the congestion charge timings from February 2022, with no charge in the evenings after 18:00.
While the current charge level of £15 will be retained, the operational hours on weekends and bank holidays will also be reduced to 12:00-18:00.
Silviya Barrett, head of policy, research and projects at Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Reducing car use is key to tackling congestion and improving air quality in the capital.
“We’re pleased that the congestion charge is being retained at £15 as measures like this, coupled with investment in public transport, are a proven way to reduce traffic levels and clean up the air.”
The changes follow a 10-week consultation, which saw nearly 10,000 responses. TfL said the measures aim to prevent car use from rising above pre-pandemic levels.
The operator added it also looks to support London’s culture, hospitality and night-time businesses, which have been some of the hardest hit during the pandemic, and also ensure gains made in reducing car dependency over more than 15 years are not lost.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The government insisted on proposals to widen the level and scope of the Congestion Charge last year as a condition of TfL’s emergency funding agreement – which was only needed because of the pandemic and the collapse in fares revenue.
“These new changes strike a balance between reducing traffic and congestion and supporting London’s economy and residents and helping ensure our recovery is a green and sustainable one.
“The removal of the evening charge will support the capital’s culture, hospitality and night-time businesses which have struggled so much, as well as encouraging people to walk, cycle and use public transport. It’s vital we do not encourage a car-led recovery and replace one public health crisis with another due to filthy air.”
These changes will come into force from 21 February 2022, with a suspension of the charge also in place between Christmas and the first working day of the New Year.