The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has reacted with extreme disappointment to Transport for London’s (TfL) decision to reintroduce all London road charging schemes from 18 May.
As Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Urban Policy explains, the decision will have a detrimental impact on the sector’s efforts to help re-start the capital’s economy.
“Logistics businesses are fully committed to assisting the restart of London’s economy, but today’s decision could actually have a detrimental effect on that work. Cash-hit operators that have not been able to work for the past eight weeks are themselves working hard to recover their own business finances but having to accommodate additional road charges will penalise that growth significantly.”
“The suspension of road charging schemes was extremely welcome in helping logistics operators focus on dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and protected many of their livelihoods when the shutdown posed a threat to their future solvency as there was no work available for them to do. To reintroduce road charging without any notice smacks of opportunism on the part of TfL and threatens the green shoots of recovery across London’s economy, while also jeopardising many logistics businesses as they look to work their way out of the crisis and rebalance their books.”
TfL’s announcement also includes a proposed increase to the daily congestion charge from £11.50 to £15 and an extension to the hours of operation to 7am-10pm, seven days a week from 22 June. FTA’s members believe these measures have totally ignored the needs of London’s businesses, and will operate as a direct tax on the logistics and transport sector.