Hauliers venturing into London could be looking at a nearly 17% rise in the Congestion Charge according to proposals by Transport for London. TfL say that increasing the Congestion Charge will create approximately £84m of revenue by the end of 2017/18 and that any net revenue generated will be invested in improvements to London’s transport as required by law. It added that since the Congestion Charge was introduced in 2003, over £1.2bn revenue has been invested in transport, including the bus network, roads and bridges.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Road Haulage Association (RHA) have criticised the proposed rise, which would see the standard daily rate rise 15% from £10 to £11.50 and the fleet user rate (for operators of six or over vehicles) rise 17% from £9 to £10.50 per day.
FTA head of policy Natalie Chapman says: “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. While the FTA is not opposed to the principle of the Congestion Charge, which is to deter non-essential or discretionary journeys, we do see this as a tax on businesses which have little alternative but to use trucks and vans during the day. 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.”
Head of media relations at The RHA, Kate Gibbs, adds: “Once again it looks as though hauliers are to be penalised for filling the shelves of the nation’s capital reliably and regularly and cost effectively. Surely those making essential deliveries and collections should be considered to be essential (and therefore charge-exempt) users?”
A 10-week consultation on the price increase will now take place as well as other proposals to make payments more automated. If approved, the rate rise will be implemented in the summer.