Home Economy Scottish authorities urged not to replicate London’s T-charge
Eagle Couriers is urging Scottish councils not to replicate London’s T-charge as it could penalise the poorest drivers and businesses
Bathgate-based Eagle Couriers is calling on Scotland’s towns and cities not to follow London’s T-charge because it punishes the poorest drivers and innocent businesses.
The firm, which is thought to be Scotland’s largest courier service, says “regressive” T-charges, which have been recently brought in by Transport for London to help tackle the pollution “crisis”, along with similar Low Emission Zones being proposed by councils in Scotland, will unfairly punish those with less money.
T-charges have been rolled out in addition to congestion charges, with older, more polluting cars facing the largest levies – paying a combined £21.50 per day to drive in central London.
Jerry Stewart, Co-Director of Eagle Couriers, said: “Well-intentioned drivers and businesses shouldn’t be the ones that get penalised especially when diesel cars were often marketed as a more appealing option and incentivised by the government through lower taxes.
“If anything, the fact we have so many diesel vehicles on the roads is a failing on manufacturers and governments, certainly not on the drivers.
“So despite good intentions – the solutions now rolled out in London will come down hardest on those just about managing, making it quite clearly a regressive tax.
“Not only that, those with older cars may face no alternative, with the soaring costs of public transport and the costs associated with buying a new car.
The industry veteran and Fellow with the Institute of Couriers believes that a solution has to come at a governmental and even international level to make sure the responsibility is firmly on vehicle manufacturers.
He said: “While some level of congestion charge in certain areas is inevitable and even understandable, it is not a solution itself that we should be applying in Scotland.
“There is a huge amount that can be done – and we need to encourage bigger thinking about public transport, cycle schemes, education and heavy investment in electric vehicle infrastructure.
“We can learn a lot from our European neighbours, who are leading the way in improving air quality standards and the implementation of electric vehicles, and apply a number of their forward thinking solutions.
“Only then will we see plummeting diesel emissions delivered in a way that is fair on the poorest drivers and businesses contributing to the economy and society.”