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Vehicle charges to hit capital traders

Businesses that operate diesel vehicles and have to drive into central London could find themselves hit by a combination of charges, FSB has warned. 

The plan by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to bring forward the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone scheme from 2020 to 2019 would be particularly detrimental, said Sue Terpilowski OBE, London Policy Chair, FSB.

“Many businesses have taken out vehicle leases up to the point at which they believed the Ultra Low Emission Zone would come in, and now it’s been brought forward by a year,” said Ms Terpilowski. “Many were told by the last Government that diesel was a preferred option over petrol. Businesses need to be able to make changes in the timescale they had expected.”

As well as pushing to maintain the original date of 2020 for the introduction of the ULEZ, FSB has been lobbying Mr Khan’s office to press the Chancellor to bring in a diesel scrappage scheme – the Mayor is now calling on HM Treasury for a £3,500 incentive – and is also calling for discounts or grace periods. 

Vehicles already have to pay congestion charge and the Low Emission Zone charge to enter the city centre, while some boroughs have increased parking charges for diesel vehicles. This year will also see the introduction of the so-called T-Charge affecting older vehicles, as well as potential new charges for the Silvertown and Blackwall tunnels.