Plans to increase the London congestion charge have been condemned as a tax on business by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) and the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

Transport for London (TfL) has launched a consultation, which closes on March 14, on a number of proposed changes to the congestion charge scheme including increasing the price.

Since 2011 the daily congestion charge has remained at £10 (£9 if paid using Auto Pay or £12 if paid the next charging day). TfL is now proposing an increase in the daily charge – to £11.50 if paid in advance (or on the day); £10.50 if paid using Auto Pay; or £14 if paid the next charging day.

The BVRLA also called TfL’s plans to increase the congestion charge by 15% “completely unjustified”. The FTA said that for the freight industry, which mainly uses the ‘fleet scheme’, the increase equated to an over-inflationary 17% (£9 to £10.50).

TfL says the proposed increase to the congestion charge would help maintain its deterrent effect in reducing unnecessary journeys and brings it in line with inflation when compared with other transport costs and public transport fares which have increased over time. If no changes were made to the congestion charging scheme charges, TfL anticipates an increase in traffic levels within the congestion charging zone.