The Department regularly engages with Transport for London and the Mayor in order to understand the impact of covid-19.
In the past 48 hours, Conservative Members have already begun campaigning about what they are describing as the Mayor of London’s proposed extension of the congestion charge. Will the Secretary of State be kind enough to confirm to the House today that he wrote to the Mayor in these terms:
“We propose that you maintain the congestion charge at its current level and hours…we also propose the extension of the…congestion charging zone to cover the same area as the Ultra Low Emission Zone and at the same time, October 2021.”?
It is important to understand that the Government have already provided funding of £1.6 billion to TfL. The Mayor is now back for another tranche of funding, which is understandable in part because of covid. However, in other parts, for example through not having maintained fares with inflation previously, he has left a gap. We have gone to the Mayor with a long list of different things he could do. It is up to him what he does, but I want to make it clear to the House that it is his choice and we are not going to require him to extend the congestion charge anywhere.