SIR; We are very disappointed that the Mayor of London is wilfully ignoring the voice of those who stand to be negatively affected by the Western Extension (WEZ) of the congestion charge, particularly large and small retailers.
This represents a significant cost to retailers who rely on the road network for access to customers, staff and the delivery of the goods they sell.
There is a marked difference between the proposed extension and existing Central Zone, as WEZ is more heavily dependent on hotels, restaurants and retail. Therefore, WEZ has a greater exposure to the sectors Transport for London identifies as most likely to be negatively affected by the charge. Following terrorist atrocities in the capital, we have seen two months of extremely worrying sales figures, compounded by weak consumer confidence experienced over the UK as a whole.
In light of this, we strongly urge the Mayor to consider delaying the introduction of this scheme if the retail climate does not stabilise.
In addition, it is imperative Transport for London ensures proper mechanisms are in place before the scheme takes effect to independently monitor the impact on business. If a negative effect is identified, the Mayor should not hesitate to scrap the scheme in the best interests of businesses large and small in West London.