The Freight Transport Association has hit out at a 17 per cent rise in the congestion charge as an “is an unfair tax on businesses which have no option other than to use the city’s roads and is higher than the increase for casual users”.
The rate for fleet operators under the CC Auto Pay scheme will rise from £9 to £10.50 on 16th June, Transport for London has confirmed. More than 340,000 vehicles currently registered with CC Auto Pay.
The standard charge is to go up from £10 to £11.50.
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s head of policy for London, 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.”
Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s chief operating officer for surface transport, said: “These changes will ensure the Congestion Charge remains effective in managing congestion in central London.”
TfL reckons that since the Congestion Charge was introduced in 2003 more than £1.2 billion of revenue has been re-invested in transport, including £960m on improvements to the bus network, £102m on roads and bridges, £70m on road safety, £51m on local transport/borough plans and £36m on sustainable transport and the environment.
However, the FTA pointed out that 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.