The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is warning that the London economy risks being damaged by the new Toxin Tax and the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone being imposed by mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
With effect from Monday 23 October, all diesel vehicles registered in 2006 or earlier that enter the central Congestion Charge zone, face paying an additional £10 toxin tax on top of the Congestion and Low Emission Zone charges. These vehicles already pay £200 per day for driving into London’s Low Emission zone – so the RHA, which represents Britain’s hauliers, sees it as just another tax on business in the capital; TFL estimates that around 188,000 HGVs enter London each year, and the fines hauliers will face are very high.
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said, ‘We fully appreciate Mayor Khan’s vision for a cleaner, healthier London. It’s a City that is justifiably proud of its position as one of the world’s great business centres and tourist attractions. However, to further penalise the industry that is responsible for keeping the shelves of its stores, restaurants and tourist attractions is not the way to do it. It’s wrong to punish the lorry industry that moves the UK Economy.
‘The road freight industry is responsible for the movement of 98% of all the foods we eat and an overwhelming proportion of everything consumed in the UK – yet once again we are the ones getting penalised for doing a crucial and essential job; keeping the economy – especially the economy of London moving.
‘The T-Charge on lorries is a modest tax, but the coming changes the mayor plans for ULEZ in 2019 will be a massive tax burden. It will impose taxes on those operators of lorries just a few years old who simply cannot afford replace nearly new lorries – we will see jobs lost and hauliers put out of business to achieve very modest air quality improvement. It will mean prices consumers have to pay rising at a time of uncertainty over Brexit that’s a threat to the UK economy.’