The Federation of Small Businesses London is urging the Mayor to work with councils to rethink the Congestion Charge on market traders and other essential businesses serving the capital while coronavirus restrictions are in place.
With around 280 markets across London, FSB has responded to a Transport for London Consultation by arguing that these businesses should not be penalised at a time where they are providing vital services.
For market traders and shops needing a good footfall of customers willing to venture into central London to support the local economy, the extension of the Congestion Charge to the weekend “does not make any sense”.
FSB is calling for exemptions to be made for those working directly and on responses to the pandemic, such as care home businesses but also those highlighted above as supporting the recovery of the local London economy.
It also wants to see the current charge maintained (and for Saturdays and Sundays to remain free) for market traders and those with freight and work vans, with the Mayor or London Councils managing this through designated licences being provided.
Rowena Howie, FSB London policy chair, said: “For a market trading business who has to operate six or seven days a week to simply cover overheads at this very difficult time, the Congestion charge could add around £200 extra a month which they can ill-afford.
“We urge the Mayor and the Minister for London to work together to support these ‘essential’ businesses and give them the support they need to remain in business.”