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Hauliers may be stung with 17% London Congestion Charge hike

  • 07 January 2014
  • By Hayley Pink

Hauliers operating in the capital could face a 17% hike in the Congestion Charge following proposals launched by Transport for London (TfL) today (6 January).

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Road Haulage Association (RHA) have criticised the plans – which would see the standard daily rate rise 15% from £10 to £11.50, while the fleet user rate (for operators of six or more vehicles) rises 17% from £9 to £10.50 per day – insisting that hauliers perform an essential service in London.

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.”

The RHA insists that freight operators should be exempt from paying the charge altogether, as they have no alternative but to enter the charging zone to perform essential collections and deliveries. Head of media relations 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, along with other proposals to make payment more automated. If approved, the rate rise will be implemented in the summer.

TfL says increasing the charge will generate an estimated £84m of additional revenue by the end of 2017/18, with any net revenue generated being invested in improvements to London’s transport as required by law.  It adds that since the Congestion Charge was introduced in 2003, more than £1.2bn revenue has been invested in transport, including the bus network, roads and bridges.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/hauliers-may-be-stung-with-17-london-congestion-charge-hike