Congestion Charge Relief

Meeting: 
MQT on 2007-05-23
Session date: 
May 23, 2007
Reference: 
2007/0925
Question By: 
John Biggs
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Do you have plans to review those eligible for relief from congestion charge payments? Whilst the scheme offers the valuable 100% discount for blue badge holders, and procedures for reclaiming the charge for some hospital treatments, no relief is offered to carers. For example, a carer who daily assists a resident in the congestion zone is not eligible for a discount. Neither are close family members who need to visit relatives with terminal illnesses during palliative care. Will you endorse a full review of congestion charge relief so that, in these extreme times of worry and stress, poorer families are not faced with an uncomfortable choice of either an unaffordable charge or not being able to care for those closest to them?

Answer

Answer for Congestion Charge Relief

Answer for Congestion Charge Relief

Answered By: 
The Mayor

While I am very sympathetic to the needs of carers, I do not consider it is practical to offer an exemption or discount to carers. Such a discount would be extremely difficult to administer, with major problems in identifying whether the journey was being undertaken for a purpose relating to providing care. It would also set a precedent for other categories of drivers, which could lead to a significant erosion of the de-congestion benefits of the scheme. TfL provides a comprehensive public transport network, and supports door-to-door services for those with specific mobility needs.There are a number of discounts and exemptions available that may assist carers. For example, Blue Badge holders who have registered with TfL for the 100% discount are able to nominate up to two different vehicles per charging day for a 100% discount, neither of which have to be owned or driven by the discount holder. There is also a 100% reimbursement for eligible NHS patients, providing the patient who is eligible is in the vehicle. Other discounts that may aid some carers include a 90% discount for the vehicle if the carer is resident in the zone. I am also proposing a 100% discount for very low CO2 emitting vehicles.