All road-user charges will be suspended in the capital from today (Monday, March 23) until further notice, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.
The congestion charge and fees for the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) have been suspended during the coronavirus outbreak to ensure London's critical workers are able to travel round London in the way that best suits them.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the move also supports the supply chain, the effort to keep supermarkets fully stocked and the city's continued operation.
Government advice is that people need to limit social contact and travel should only be undertaken if absolutely necessary.
The roads need to be kept clear for the emergency services and critical workers who need to get around by car, said TfL. Drivers are asked to consider the wider implications when thinking about using their vehicles.
To keep the public transport network running TfL has already reduced the number of stations open and are ensuring they are appropriately staffed.
For some critical workers, in the current circumstances, driving to work will be the simplest option, which is why the charges have been lifted.
To further support vital hospital staff getting into work during these challenging times, NHS workers will be given a code that waives the 24-hour access fee for Santander Cycles, meaning any journey under 30 minutes is free.
In addition to free access, docking stations near hospitals are being prioritised to ensure there is a regular supply of bikes for medical staff to use.
Khan said: "People should not be travelling, by any means, unless they really have to. London's roads should now only be used for essential journeys.
“To help our critical workers get to work and for essential deliveries to take place, I have instructed TfL to temporarily suspend the Congestion Charge, ULEZ and Low Emission Zone from Monday.”
Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL's general manager of road User charging, explained that London's critical workforce is wider than just the core emergency services.
“Emergency services workers are absolutely fundamental to our response, but supermarket workers, utilities engineers, refuse collectors, and many more, also need to be able to travel to keep the city functioning,” he said. “This is why we have temporarily suspended road user charging in the capital."