The Freight Transport Association (FTA) stated that the new road charge proposals announced by the Mayor of London could prove to have a positive impact for freight operators. The scheme is said to measure road charge rates based on several different factors, including the distance travelled by a vehicle, and the vehicles emissions.
The FTA currently represent half of the UK’s road fleet, and says that distanced-based charging as a new proposal could work as an alternative to the current congestion and low emission zone schemes. However, it also warns that the proposals must be carefully planned in order to have a positive effect.
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London, said: “The Congestion Charge has arguably played a role in suppressing traffic demand in central London, but FTA has always argued that it is a blunt tool which fails to recognise the essential role that freight plays in serving London’s businesses, residents and visitors.
“New and emerging technology could play a pivotal part in providing a more sophisticated system that accounts for the essential role of the vehicle and the time of day and incentivises cleaner vehicles.”
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London has stated that his aims are to reduce freight traffic throughout London by 10% in the following 9 years. However, the FTA remain sceptical about this, seeing that London’s population continues to soar at a staggering rate. With the population of London continually rising, a larger strain is put on the freight industry, as more HGV’s and Couriers are in demand to supply goods throughout the capital.
Ms Chapman added: “It costs so much to deliver into London that the road freight industry is already highly load efficient. There may be some benefits from further consolidation we can gain, but these will be outweighed by the needs of London’s larger population. The real gains in traffic management will come from private car use – if car users can be enabled or encouraged to switch to public transport, cycling or walking then London’s transport network could become exponentially more efficient.
“We need to ensure that any changes to road charging actually promote more efficient use of the transport network, and are not simply taxes by another name adding cost to operating and living in London.”
We suggest you contact your HGV Insurance or Courier Insurance provider and see if there is anything they offer to reduce the risk to you business.