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2014-05-31 10:35

FAIR OR UNFAIR? The UK transport department has slapped road users in London with a 17% increase on road congestion charges. Image: Shutterstock

LONDON, England - If you thought the infamous e-toll saga in Gauteng was bad, how about this? The UK transport department has slapped road users in London with a 17% increase on road congestion charges. 

The infamous London Congestion Charge is a daily charge for driving a vehicle within the central-city Congestion Charge zone from 7am-6pm, Monday to Friday.

The UK's Freight Transport Association claims it is an unfair tax on businesses which have no option but to use the city’s roads and is higher than the increase for casual users.

SUCCESSFUL OLYMPICS

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.”
 
The FTA supports the aim of the charge in deterring discretionary or non-essential journeys, where the individual has the option of an alternative time or mode of travel, to reduce congestion, CO2 emissions and improve air quality. 
 
The FTA said, additionally, there were no charge-free breaks in daytime to encourage deliveries to be made outside of commuting hours.

Until the charge starts at 7am on weekdays the movements of heavy goods vehicles are restricted by the London Lorry Control Scheme – also known as the ‘London Lorry Ban’.
 
Chapman added: “The logistics industry helped to deliver a successful 2012 Olympics and a big part of the Games legacy for our industry has been a greater recognition of the essential role we play in keeping London fed and watered.

"So, we are particularly disappointed that we face such a steep rise in the cost of supporting London’s economy.”
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