FTA cautious over road tolling proposals for London

The FTA has given a guarded welcome to proposals from London mayor Sadiq Khan to consider road charging based on elements such as distance and vehicle emissions to replace measures such as the congestion charge.

Contained in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, the FTA said such a move could be positive for freight operators as long as it didn’t add cost.

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s head of policy for London, said: “The congestion charge has played a role in suppressing traffic demand in central London, but the FTA has always argued it is a blunt tool that fails to recognise the essential role 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.”

Chapman added: “We need to ensure any changes to road charging promote more efficient use of the transport network, and are not simply taxes by another name adding cost to operating and living in London.”

The newly published Mayor’s Transport Strategy covers a wide range of issues including the controversial goal to reduce road freight volume by 10% by 2026.