Fleet News

Green firms spared London road charges

COMPANIES which bus staff into work as part of a green travel plan will be exempt from road user charges to be introduced in London from 2003 and tariffs for van drivers have been reduced, mayor Ken Livingstone has announced.

Any company driving staff into the capital by bus or coach will not have to pay the charge, while van and lorry drivers will also be spared a £15 a day levy, which will be dropped to £5, the same price for cars. Mopeds and motorcycles are exempt. People with disabilities obtain a 100% discount and a 90% discount is offered to people who live in the charging zone.

A poll carried out by the authority during public consultation on the charges showed that those supporting the idea outnumbered those against by seven to one.

The charging proposals were included in a new transport strategy for London, presented to the authority yesterday. Other proposals include improvements to the underground and rail, a freeze on bus fares, better bus services, increased numbers of 20mph speed limits, increased numbers of pedestrian and cycle routes and freight bypass routes, to direct non-London traffic away from residential areas.

Mayor Ken Livingstone, said: 'The only viable strategy, from both a financial and environmental point of view, is one where passenger transport in central London must primarily be served by public transport, while recognising that the car will remain the primary means of transport in outer London, supplemented by improved public transport.'

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