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.

  • avlowe

    Oh dear – I’m siding with FTA and RHA on this one. Effectively the volume of HGV traffic at peak time is economically limited by the crippling waste of earning power delivered when your truck and driver are being paid for but going nowhere go out and look at the real world Ms Pidgeon. Riding a bike on major East London routes outside peak hours – where 30-40% of traffic can be construction vehicles travelling at 4-5 times the speeds achievable in peak hours carries a far higher level of risk.

    As a point of proof I happened to be travelling back across London one night around 22.00 and noticed the sheer number of retail deliveries being made by 18-44T vehicles en route, and those advocating this peak hour ban concept have no well founded plans to define the cordon line or precise hours. For the initial nomination of 08.00-09.30 there was just one HGV-cycle fatality in 2015 in (very) Central London.

    Far more important is to recognise the need to have some form of regulation for all commercial users of the city’s roads basically to recognise that there needs to be something to monitor self governance and act when the imperative of profit sees a commercial activity of any kind failing to deliver on aspects of good governance – notably on safety.

    Regulation can also promote planned use of the available infrastructure (and vehicles) potentially offering timetabling that guarantees unloading and loading space and an assured route/journey times, drawing on the lessons from 2012. We have a great resource in pre-trained logistics specialists available in ex-forces personnel well used to getting some discipline into a random bunch of willing & unwilling recruits.

    The role of the principal ‘conductor’ – managing the operation should also be considered so that the likes of Uber, suppliers of leased pedicabs, the franchisors for in-livery/branded courier contracts might warrant the equivalent of an operator’s licence and duty to ensure their contracted agents/suppliers are putting vehicles and drivers on the streets that are fit for purpose on each & every day of operation. Perhaps we might return to the standard of having the registered operating address for all goods vehicles (and small passenger vehicles) displayed clearly to a defined standard on the left side of the vehicle – just as it is still legally required on every bus and coach.

  • Graham Manchester

    Again “just charge extra” nothing about incentives to make the vehicles that are in the city more efficient!