London congestion charge a tax on logistics

London, UK: Extending the London congestion charge is little more than a tax on deliveries, says the FTA.

The operating hours of the London Congestion Charge will increase from 22 June.

Natalie Chapman, head of urban policy, FTA, said: “The suspension of the congestion charge back in March 2020 was extremely welcome in helping operators focus on dealing with the crisis [Covid-19].

“However, to reward this hard work – completed under very challenging circumstances – with such abrupt and significant changes to the London Congestion Charge is extremely disappointing to FTA and its members.

“Like many other sectors, logistics is suffering financially from the pandemic – 76% of respondents to FTA’s own industry survey report a general business downturn – and as a sector has a long road to economic recovery ahead; increasing the scheme’s rates and extending its operating hours so abruptly will be detrimental to this recovery process,” she said.

“While FTA understands the financial pressures TfL is currently facing and supports the broad intention behind the scheme – to manage congestion and improve air quality in the capital by incentivising active travel over vehicle use – logistics businesses have little alternative but to drive in London to meet the delivery needs of consumers and businesses, so this simply amounts to a tax on deliveries,” Chapman said.
 
“FTA is also disappointed by the lack of consultation on such a significant decision, and, although the changes are only temporary, TfL has given no concrete indication of how long they will last. Permanent implementation should be out of the question.”

www.fta.co.uk

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