Thursday 26 November 2020

Operators escape London congestion charge expansion

Transport for London will not be forced to expand its congestion charge by the government.

Cash-strapped TfL has been forced to rely on government handouts to keep going since revenue from Underground services dried up during the first lockdown. It was feared that government would make TfL maximise its income from other sources, including the congestion charge, as a condition for another handout.

David Wells, chief executive of Logistics UK (formerly the Freight Transport Association), said: “The government’s decision to listen to the concerns of Logistics UK and its members – as outlined in my letter to Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, the Secretary of State for Transport – and refrain from expanding the London congestion charge is a huge relief to logistics businesses, many of whom continue to struggle financially and operationally as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

“Now, Logistics UK is urging government to reconsider whether logistics activity should still be included in the temporary conditions added in June 2020, which saw a significant increase in the fee and longer operating hours. With little alternative to using lorries and vans to keep London stocked with all the goods the population needs, it simply amounts to an additional tax on those charged with supporting the capital during the pandemic, and beyond.”

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