Under new plans, private hire vehicles are being forced to pay the transport for London Congestion Charge. The official reason is stated that it is a step towards improving London’s air quality.
Is this really a good reason to charge the private drivers only and in so, inevitably raise the price to create higher fares for residents and tourists in London. It is safe to say this is not the solution to reducing congestion and emissions in the second most congested city in Europe.
Ultimately, the demand for private hire vehicles such as Uber will not reduce the amount of vehicles on the road but it will increase the amount that drivers and/or passengers will pay for each journey. This could have major significance to the level of tourism, retail sales and jobs all over the capital.
Many elderly, disabled, vulnerable and lower paid individuals rely on this more affordable method of travel which will fundamentally have a huge impact on their day to day spend. With Uber amongst other operators confirming they will be moving completely to environmentally friendly cars by 2021, isn’t this more beneficial than making Private Hire drivers pay now? I think if London really wants to clean up, they need to look for more tangible solutions that will make a more positive impact on society.
Is this action just to help London Mayor inject some much-needed cash to repair the financial hole Transport for London currently finds itself in?
We should be educating people on other ways to reduce emissions that everyone can do rather than putting all the emphasis on a small group of workers in the city, who have no choice but to enter the zone if their customer requires it.