Associations hit out at Congestion Charge hike

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 12:00
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HIKE: Congestion Charge upped by 15%

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) and British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) have hit out the Transport for London’s Congestion Charge hike.

Companies on the fleet scheme will be charged 17% more (£10.50) from June 16, with all other users charged 15% more (11.50%).

The FTA claim the hike is an unfair tax on businesses which have no option other than to use the city’s roads.

Natalie Chapman, Head of Policy for London at the FTA, said: “Commercial vehicles making essential deliveries, such as keeping the capital’s shelves stocked and supplying London’s hospitals should be exempt from the Congestion Charge.

“But not only are they forced to pay to use the road network in Central London, they have now been unfairly clobbered with a bigger rise than casual users of the scheme.”

The FTA added they support the aim of the Congestion Charge in deterring discretionary or non-essential journeys where the individual has the option to choose an alternative time or mode of travel in order to reduce congestion, CO2 emissions and improve air quality.

“The logistics industry helped TfL to deliver a successful Olympics and a big part of the Games legacy for our industry has been a greater recognition of the essential role we play in keeping London fed and watered,” added Ms Chapman.

“So we are particularly disappointed that we face such a steep rise in the cost of supporting London’s economy.”

Gerry Keaney, Chief Executive of the BVRLA, added: “This 15% increase in the daily charge is unjustified and is in effect a tax rise on essential business users who have no choice but to drive in central London.

“We are disappointed that Transport for London has ignored our calls to reverse this decision, and will continue to fight this battle on behalf of our members and their customers, who operate the cleanest, safest vehicles on UK roads.”

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