When you are driving in London, whether for business or pleasure, you will know that you need to consider the congestion charge.
These charges were introduced a number of years ago to try and stop some of the pollution in the most congested areas of London. Whilst they have gone some way to helping with this issue, it seems that the current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, feels that there is more that could be done to rectify this issue.
Therefore, there has been an introduction of a new congestion charge which is due to come into force in October 2017.
What is the new congestion charge?
Along with the original T charge, this new congestion charge will cost an additional £10.00 per day. It is aimed at older vehicles which are pumping out the most pollution into the air. This is typically vehicles that were registered before 2006 and do not meet the Euro 4 emission standard.
It will only apply during 7am and 6pm on weekdays. So those travelling during the weekends or evenings will not have to pay the charge.
Is this on top of the old charges?
Yes, it is. This £10.00 per day will be in top of the existing £11.50 per day which is charged already for entering a congestion zone. Something that could end up costing a considerable amount of money if you are travelling around the capital on a regular basis.
It Is worth mentioning that larger vehicles, such as vans from 1.206kg, buses, coaches and heavy goods already incur a much higher rate of charge, as much as £100 per day if they don’t meet the Euro 3 standard.
What about the Ultra Low Emission Zones?
Another proposal put forward by Sadiq Kahn is the Ultra Low Emission Zone from September 2020. This cost will rise to £12.50 if Euro 3 standard is not met, for vehicles entering zones which are thought to be heavily congested.
Below is a table of the charges a small van (up to 1,205kg unladen weight) driving in London on weekdays between 7 am and 6 pm will have to pay:
|Congestion Charge||T-Charge||Ultra Low Emission Zone|
|Introduced||Now||23 October 2017||September 2020|
|Daily charges||£11.50||£10 if Euro 4 standard not met||£12.50 if Euro 3 standard not met|
Is there any other extra charge?
Yes, the Central borough of Westminster recently released another measure, by which air marshals patrolling the area can fine drivers £80 for unnecessary idling. You can read the full article here.
Can a fleet management software help plan for the congestion charge?
One of the biggest benefits of a fleet management software is that it allows for you to control and plan the most efficient routes for your drivers. This means that you can try and minimise the impact that these congestion charges can have on your business. You can send your most economical vehicles to the Ultra Low Emission Zones and also minimise the number of drivers that are entering zones where a congestion charge is applicable.
What about idling?
Some fleet management systems like Movolytics measure idling times to understand how much fuel drivers are wasting, to help them reduce fuel cost and save money.
Not only does this save you money but it also helps to reduce your fleet’s carbon footprint.