Published On: Fri, May 15th, 2020

London news: Commuters begged to drive to avoid tubes before huge car tax hike announced | UK | News

Commuters are furious after it emerged charges for drivers coming into central London will rise to £15 and commuters will face rising fare charges. This all comes despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plea to Britons to drive to work if they can to avoid public transport. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan accused the DfT of “making ordinary Londoners pay the cost for doing the right thing on COVID-19” after his £1.6 billion bailout.

The department said temporary measures consist of stopping free travel for children and only allowing people over 60 or with a disability to travel for free outside peak hours.

From 22 June, the congestion charge for people driving into the centre of the city will rise from £11.50 to £15.

Fares on buses – scrapped to help protect drivers from coronavirus – will be reintroduced.

These changes will take place “as soon as practicable”.

The department also announced that TfL will introduce above-inflation fare rises from next year.

Fares will go up by RPI+1 percent.

Mr Khan has frozen single fares since he became mayor in May 2016.

The bailout consists of a £1.1 billion grant and a £505 million loan.

READ MORE: ‘Bad news’ Sadiq Khan accused of failing London as Boris steps in 

The DfT said the agreement means TfL will increase service levels “as soon as possible to ensure people can follow social distancing guidelines while on the network”.

Concerns have been raised about packed Tube trains and buses this week after the Prime Minister encouraged people in England to go to work if they cannot work from home.

The decision sparked fury, with critics blaming the London Mayor for TfL’s economic crisis.

Tory Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey added: “TfL’s bailout was only necessary because of the financial negligence shown by Sadiq Khan. To try to deflect responsibility for his policy failures isn’t just a failure of leadership, it is a lie.

“The Mayor is lying when he says the Government has forced this u-turn. He had planned a fares increase as early as last year.

“Most Londoners are now grateful that the terms of Sadiq Khan’s humiliating bailout should now limit the damage he is able to inflict on our transport network for the duration of his term in office.”

A Twitter user said: “Boris says don’t use public transport and to drive, so you reintroduce congestion charge.

“If this isn’t about money grabbing then what is it. This is a big f*** you to us who have kept the country going over the last few weeks. You need to resign mar mate.

Another said: “It’s an absolute disgrace. You should now resign.”

One added: “Congestion Charge is back again with a PRICE RISE to pay back the £1.6bn payout. We need a new leader of tfl Sadiq is too soft as usual.”

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