15% congestion charge increase unjustified?

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The London Congestion Charge increased from £10 to £11.50 on the 16 June - fleet and CC Auto Pay customers continue to benefit from a £1 reduction and pay £10.50 per day - but the rise has been branded “unjustified”.

Transport for London (TfL) said the increase, the first since 2011, would ensure that the charge remained “effective in managing congestion in central London”.

But the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has criticised the decision to increase the charge by 15%, although the rise is 17% for fleet and CC Auto Pay customers.

“This 15% increase in the daily charge is unjustified and is in effect a tax rise on essential business users who have no choice but to drive in central London,” said BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney.

The Freight Transport Association also condemned the rise - highlighting that it was higher for fleets than for casual users and claiming it was “an unfair tax increase on essential deliveries and businesses which have no option other than to use the city’s roads”.

Garrett Emmerson, TfL chief operating officer for surface transport, said the increase would ensure the charge remained a relative deterrent to all but the most essential journeys into the centre of London, contributing an income of £82.7 million over the next five years, which would be re-invested into the capital’s transport network.