Western Extension

Meeting: 
MQT on 2007-01-30
Session date: 
January 30, 2007
Reference: 
2007/0236
Question By: 
Angie Bray
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Why are NHS staff, particularly nurses, not exempt from paying the congestion charge? Nurses and other NHS staff work very long and unsociable hours, with many of them forced to drive into work, incurring a reported £1,700 a year bill. Why have you not considered some form of relief for the people that keep London's health system going?

Answer

Answer for Western Extension

Answer for Western Extension

Answered By: 
The Mayor

While I appreciate the hard work of NHS staff, I do not consider an exemption from paying the Congestion Charge to be appropriate for them. It would be extremely difficult to make a legally enforceable distinction between nurses and other key workers. Also, it could lead to a significant erosion of the decongestion benefits of the scheme, as well as being difficult to administer. It is therefore considered a matter for NHS Trusts to provide the relevant recruitment and retention benefits to staff, as part of a package that reflects the increased costs of living and working in London. There are also a number of options available to workers whose shifts may finish at unsociable hours. London Underground runs from before 6am until after midnight, and there is an extensive network of night buses covering the whole of the Greater London area, which many workers make use of. To assist NHS staff within the Congestion Charging zone to identify the most effective travel plan for themselves, TfL funded the creation of site specific travel plans.Furthermore, TfL does administer a NHS staff reimbursement scheme for those who use their vehicle in the congestion charging zone for certain operational journeys, such as transporting patient records, controlled drugs or heavy medical equipment.