The commercial fleet industry has welcomed the suspension of all road-user charges in London from today (Monday, March 23) until further notice due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the charges had been suspended to help London's critical workers as well as the supply chain keep supermarkets fully stocked
Paul Cowperthwaite, TfL's general manager of road user charging, explained that London's critical workforce is wider than just the core emergency services.
“Emergency services workers are absolutely fundamental to our response, but supermarket workers, utilities engineers, refuse collectors, and many more, also need to be able to travel to keep the city functioning,” he said. “This is why we have temporarily suspended road user charging in the capital."
Natalie Chapman, head of urban policy at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), said the suspension was welcome news for the sector.
“With unprecedented levels of demand for food, medicines and other commodities, this move will keep the supply chain stable and robust and ensure that London can remain open for business, supporting its residents, its companies and its industry,” she said.
Road Haulage Association (RHA) chief executive, Richard Burnett, said most trucks going into London will still be LEZ and ULEZ compliant, but the move offers firms the flexibility to use other vehicles – including vans – if and when there are driver gaps as the pandemic unfolds.
“Keeping our supply chains resilient will be key in ensuring businesses can continue to function during the crisis,” he concluded.
“It’s the right thing that firms have the confidence to call in other contractors to move their goods into the capital at short notice and not worry about LEZ and ULEZ charges.”