Opinions On The New Congestion Charge
So it seems the powers that be have found another way to squeeze more money out of the cash cow that is the motorist. As of April 8th 2019, All vehicles that run on anything other than fresh air will be getting clobbered with an additional £12.50 charge for smaller vehicles and £100 charge for lorries traveling throughout the inspirationally named ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone). Bear in mind that this is on top of the £11.50 standard congestion charge.
Now don’t get us wrong, we understand the importance of the citizens of London not being in a position where they have to gulp down lungfuls of nitrogen oxides every single time they want to nip out for some milk but there are slightly more tactful ways of sorting problems other than a nice big ruling for everyone. These blanket rules often require changes for certain industries (couriers amongst others) that could, in an ideal world, be given a slightly longer time frame to implement efficiently.
As it stands, the new ULEZ covers the same area as the current London congestion zone but plans are definitely in place to expand this. This is good information to know because there will be actions that courier companies can put in place that will accommodate the initial area but might not be future proof for an expanding, greener London. At least we have a decent heads up for future plans.
London would be much, much nicer without the conga lines of traffic snaking through the city centre and I guess you have to start somewhere. The money raised has been predicted to be around £220m per year. This is going to initially cover the implementation of the plan but the ongoing revenue has been earmarked to go back into making London an oxygen rich utopia. This extra money will be funnelled into developing a greener, more efficient public transport system where the fear of inhaling noxious gases will be no more.
With a same day courier company, immediate response to a clients requests and the most efficient routes between the origin and the destination of the goods is paramount. There will be automated systems to charge companies to make the payments easier (don’t worry, they have made the act of having to pay them very efficient indeed) so that won’t be too much of a problem, but we will have to either swallow the increasing costs of driving in London or move our business models around to accommodate. The latter being, I would imagine, the direction the government are pushing towards. Ultimately though, it is a case of the air not being at a safe enough toxicity level, so phasing combustion engines out is going to be the only way to go.
London is an economic powerhouse and having the capacity to make these changes puts us in a privileged position. We are setting examples for other countries. We are setting the trends for the future. Gone will be the days where siphoning up old dinosaurs to power our dirty engines is the most efficient mode of transport.
We envision self driving car/taxis that ferry people around the city centre. Buses that emit a low hum as opposed to chugging their way through the streets. Monorails and personal flying cars zipping people from A to B at 10 times the speed of sound. But step back, we have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is charging Joe Bloggs in his lorry £100 if he needs to drop a pallet off at Big Ben.
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