- 24 October 2017
- Transport / Logistics Services
While pedestrian, public health and cyclist groups have broadly welcomed the so-called T Charge that is being rolled out in London to curb the worst pollution in the metropolitan areas, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has somewhat unsurprisingly complained that it could hurt the economy.
As of the 23rd October, all diesel vehicles that were registered in 2006 or earlier that enter the central London Congestion Charge zone will have to pay an additional £10 toxin tax on top of the Congestion and Low Emission Zone charges.
Commenting on the new T-Charge (which is officially know as the Emissions Surcharge), 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 RHA CEO continued, “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.”
The RHA being an organisation focused on the economy, it isn’t looking at the health of those that contribute to the economy. With several thousand deaths every year in London attributable to air pollution, and many thousands of sick days taken out of the economy for the same reason, it is evidently clear that while the economy spouts diesel fumes, humans can’t breathe them.
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