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Transport training in London could get a little bit more expensive if Transport for London (TfL) follows through on a plan to raise the Congestion Charge now in place. In fact, all companies conducting business in the region will be adversely affected. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is doing what it can to prevent the increase.

The current charge for standard drivers is £10 daily. However, TfL wants to raise that to £11.50, marking a 15% increase. Unfortunately, most commercial operators are classified under the fleet scheme rather than the standard classification. TfL wants to increase fleet charges by as much as 17%.

The FTA acknowledges the London Congestion Charge is not going away. However, they have long fought excessive rate increases that negatively affect the haulage and transport industries. At the heart of the problem, they say, is the fact that commercial vehicles operating in congestion zones have no other choice if that is where their customers are located.

Ultimately, any increase in the Congestion Charge will be passed on to customers. Proponents of the charge say a 17% increase on a charge that is already negligible will not have any noticeable impact. What they fail to acknowledge is that all of these ‘negligible’ fees add up to a significant amount of money. In America, they call it ‘nickel and diming us to death’.

What’s even more frustrating to haulage and transport companies is the knowledge that the London Congestion Charge was specifically designed to discourage people from driving in certain areas of the city. The fee will go up whenever TfL decides its goals are not being met. However, that leads many to wonder if the rate increases will ever truly end.

Perhaps it is time to rethink the London Congestion Charge in light of commercial operators who have no other choice but to service clients in the affected areas. Expecting them to stop driving in those areas is unreasonable – not only for them, but for their customers as well. Perhaps it is time to exempt those operators from the charge once and for all.

About the HGV Training Centre

The HGV Training Centre is a leading provider of commercial driver training in the UK. Our transport training courses can prepare you to earn your HGV or PCV licence in order to drive the largest vehicles on the roads. We also offer training for horseboxes and horsebox trailers, commercial vans, forklifts, heavy construction equipment and caravans.

If you are looking to embark on a new career with long-term stability and good pay, we encourage you to consider becoming a commercial driver. Our training programmes can have you licensed and ready to look for work in a matter of weeks. And rest assured that we would be at your side every step of the way. We will even send one of our trainers with you when it’s time to take your final road exam. Your success as a commercial driver is our number one priority.

Sources:

  1. MHW Magazine – http://www.mhwmagazine.co.uk/NewsArchive/2014/January/Congestion_Charge_increase,_a_tax_rise_for_businesses_says_the_Freight_Transport_Association,_FTA-15415.html

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