London Assembly calls for new congestion charge rate to reduce van traffic

The London Assembly Transport Committee has called for a reduction in LCV traffic in the capital, and called on the Mayor of London to “reassess” the congestion charge faced by vans.

In a letter to TfL transport Commissioner Mike Brown and signed by chairwoman Valerie Shawcross, the committee suggested that “reducing the impact of light commercial traffic” should be considered when assessing the city’s congestion charge tariff.

The letter outlined the findings of an investigation the committee conducted into the growing volumes of LCV traffic in the city.

It said that van traffic had increased in the city centre by 13% between 2012 and 2014, and that “while data is scarce, there is evidence more light commercial vehicles travel in London during peak times compared to HGVs”.

It also suggested consideration of how “an improved road charging system might ‘reward’ more environmentally-friendly LCVs with lower tariffs”.

The letter made other suggestions as to how LCV traffic could be reduced in London, including increased use of bicycles and motorbikes for final mile delivery, more use of rail and water freight routes as well as retiming and consolidating deliveries.

It said: “Over the next mayoral term, we would urge TfL to renew its focus on tackling road congestion in London and make action in this area a priority for the next mayor’s transport strategy.”

The London Assembly has already backed an HGV rush hour ban.