Fleet News

Finance chiefs slate congestion charging

SENIOR public sector financial managers have condemned congestion charging as a regressive form of taxation that will unfairly penalise poorer motorists.

And an overwhelming 85% of the managers believe public transport must improve before any form of congestion charging is introduced.

Reed Accountancy Personnel questioned 97 managers from local authorities, education, healthcare, emergency services, transport and central Government, as Transport for London puts the finishing touches to the plans of Mayor of London Ken Livingstone to charge motorists £5 per day to enter central London from next February. Durham has already introduced a £2 charge for vehicles entering its busy central streets.

Overall, 62% of local authority respondents believe road tolls are a good way to fund public transport improvements. However, every representative of the emergency services without exception disagreed with the view that road tolls are a good way to pay for improvements to other means of transport.

Richard Post, managing director of Reed Accountancy Personnel, said: 'Rather than just piling on coercive charges, it seems that the public sector is saying that any central move must be accompanied by conciliatory spending on the other side of the fence – the public transportation system.

'The public sector message is that we cannot just push people off the roads. As a nation, we need to be also pulling them towards a re-invigorated public transport network.'

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