Minicabs including Uber to pay congestion charge

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LONDON: Private hire vehicles, including Uber and minicabs, will have to pay the Transport for London (TfL) congestion charge. Under new plans by TfL, the vehicles will no longer be exempt from the daily £11.50 rate for driving in central London.

TfL said the proposals had been drawn up in a bid to improve the capital’s air quality.

The changes will come into force from 8 April.

According to a BBDC report, in the first phase, only zero-emission vehicles will still be exempt from paying the congestion charge – which was introduced in 2003. TfL said since the charge began 15 years ago, the number of vehicles entering central London each day has decreased by about 30%. The announcement follows a consultation which TfL said received 10,000 responses.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said “toxic air pollution” in the capital was creating a major public health crisis. “We have to make tough decisions to protect the health and wellbeing of Londoners and tackle harmful emissions from the most polluting vehicles. Now we need private hire vehicles and taxis to play their part and help us clean up our filthy air responses.”

TfL said it would consult on proposals to reduce the taxi age limit for the dirtiest vehicles to 12 years by 2022. A spokesman added: “The 15-year age limit would be strictly mandated in 2019, with a proposed reduction in the age limit each year until a 12 year age limit is reached.” The age limit for Euro 6, LPG and ZEC taxi vehicles is proposed to remain at 15 years.