LONDON (Reuters) – Uber, Addison Lee and other private hire taxi companies in London will no longer be exempt from paying a day charge for entering the centre of the city, as Mayor Sadiq Khan continues his bid to improve air quality.
FILE PHOTO: the Uber logo is displayed on a mobile phone, September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/File Photo
Most drivers entering London’s central zone, spread across King’s Cross in the north, the City in the east, the Imperial War Museum in the south and Buckingham Palace in the west, to pay 11.50 pounds ($14.55) from Monday to Friday during the day.
Private hire companies were exempt from the Congestion Charge, but the regulator Transport for London (TfL) is looking into the reduction of the number of vehicles on the capital roads, which has risen sharply, partly due to the burgeoning taxi apps.
TfL revenues have also been hit in recent years by the cuts in the central government, the additional expenditure required by the delayed Crossrail train link, and a freezing of the rates.
Khan said he was making tough choices to cut pollution.
“We have to make tough decisions to protect the health and welfare of Londoners and to tackle the harmful emissions from the most polluting vehicles,” he said.
“We need the private hire vehicles and taxi drivers to play their part and help us clean up our filthy air.”
They will have to pay the levy of Apr. 8. unless driving a zero emission state or in a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Uber [UBER.UL] and Anna Lee, the city’s biggest private hire operators, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
The famous london black cabs retain their exemption.
Reporting by Costas Pitas, Editing by Paul Sandle