Congestion Charge hike a ‘tax rise for businesses’, blast FTA

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 11:00
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RISE: Congestion Charge ‘tax on businesses’

Transport for London’s (TfL) planned Congestion Charge increase is a ‘tax rise for businesses’, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) have blasted.

The transport and logistics industry will suffer greatly from any negative change, the FTA insist, with the standard daily charge mooted to hit £11.50 from £10.

For the freight industry, who mainly use the ‘fleet scheme’, the increase would equate to 17%.

Natalie Chapman, Head of Policy for London and South East at the FTA, said: “Whilst many congestion charge users face a potential 15% increase in the daily charge this summer, most transport companies are registered on the fleet scheme so will be in line for an over-inflationary 17% hike if the proposed changes go ahead.

“FTA realises that the Congestion Charge is to deter non-essential or discretionary journeys, but we consider this as a tax on businesses which have little alternative but to use trucks and vans during the day.”

FTA added they ‘fully recognised’ that the aim of the Congestion Charge is to reduce congestion, CO2 emissions and improve air quality.

However, they insisted that the charge is a ‘tax on deliveries’, with the driver in many cases having no choice but to enter the zone.

“Whilst FTA is not opposed to the principle of the Congestion Charge, London’s businesses rely on freight to deliver essential goods and services and without the logistics industry, the capital would simply grind to a halt,” added Ms Chapman.

Image courtesy of mariordo59, with thanks.