Only one in ten business leaders support congestion charge expansion

Thursday 29 October 2020

Only one in ten (13%) business leaders in the capital support widening London’s congestion charge zone.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry asked 503 business leaders of varying business size, sectors and boroughs which changes to road pricing in the capital, if any, do they think London should adopt, or whether the current system should be maintained.

  • 33% said a congestion tax rate that varies according to time of day, with a cap.
  • 31% said a 'smart' system that changes the congestion tax rate for every vehicle entering the zone according to factors like distance and current traffic levels.
  • 16% said the current system of congestion charge and ULEZ should be maintained.
  • 14% said extending the congestion charge to taxis.
  • 13% said widening the congestion charge zone.
  • 12% said don’t know.

LCCI and local chambers of commerce across the capital have called on London’s MPs to come together to help find a non-partisan and viable solution to Transport for London’s funding, both in the short and long term.  They have warned that the nature of the ongoing discussions surrounding future government support for TfL are deeply troubling for the capital’s business community, and that widening the Congestion Charge zone to a significantly greater area will hamper the capital’s economic recovery drastically.  They also warn that any fare hikes on the network must be carefully considered, given the potential they have to further deter journeys on the TfL network, particularly into London’s centre.

Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:

“London’s chambers of commerce and our respective business communities are concerned about some of the reported conditions of the proposed funding deal for Transport for London, which is why we’ve written to London MPs to call for non-partisan solutions that don’t hamper London’s economic recovery.  Widening the congestion charge zone at this point in time runs the risk of doing so, and our research shows that only one in ten London business leaders support that measure.

“It’s clear that immediate government funding is required to keep the network running, but as the capital begins to recover, whilst also trying to reduce carbon emissions, our research shows degrees of business appetite to look at the likes of smart road charging, or congestion charging that varies by time of day.     

ENDS.

Savanta ComRes interviewed 503 London business leaders online for LCCI between 6 August and 11 September 2020.

Data were weighted to be representative of all London business leaders by size and broad industry sector. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.