Transport for London (TfL) has announced a 17 per cent increase in the London Congestion Charge for companies on the fleet scheme, in a move that has been branded an unfair tax on businesses which have no option other than to use the city’s roads.
The Freight Transport Association said the hike is prejudiced against freight operators, as the rise for hauliers is higher than the increase for casual users.
“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,” said FTA’s head of policy for London, Natalie Chapman. “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 scheme users.”
FTA said it supported 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. But it argued it is not feasible to deliver goods on public transport, nor are alternative modes practical for the door-to-door deliveries that central London requires.