Fleet News

Green fuel lobby angry over London bi-fuel charging plan

NEWS that bi-fuel vehicles will have to pay London congestion charges has been met with anger by the alternative fuel industry.

The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association has reacted angrily to proposals from Transport for London (TfL) that only vehicles solely powered by gas or electricity, and registered in Greater London, will be exempt.

The LPGA believes the policy represents a U-turn by mayor Ken Livingstone, and claims the measure will disincentivise fleets from going green. Tom Fiddell, director-general of the LPGA, said: 'We are very concerned that bi-fuel LPG vehicles may be dropped from the exemptions.'

The LPGA claims the original Transport Strategy blueprint proposed that vehicles powered by LPG would be exempt.

A TfL spokesman said: 'We don't make a claim for this scheme cutting emissions or pollution. This is all about moving traffic around in a more effective way.'

However John Lewis, director-general of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, said it was 'bizarre' that TfL was proposing to offer concessions only for gas powered vehicles registered within London.

'It's a typical, parochial, non-integrated approach to transport, and it's not a congestion strategy,' he said. 'If the solution is to promote gas power, then surely all gas powered vehicles should be exempt or discounted. The change of heart is difficult to understand unless this is the mayor responding to pressure: an element of appeasement and capitulation to certain utilities and businesses.'

TfL has left the door ajar for further discussions, saying: 'Should there be fleets of green vehicles from all over the country heading to London, then we would have to look at it.'

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