London haulier ELB Partners has joined mounting criticism of the Mayor’s decision to reintroduce the congestion charge, branding the move “insane”.

The Wimbledon-based company, which has been instrumental in delivering essential equipment to Nightingale hospitals during the Covid-19 outbreak, said re-commencing the charge and then increasing it meant businesses would have to pass the cost on to customers - at a time when the economy was already on its knees.

“The re-introduction of the congestion charge is bad enough but the planned increase to £15 per vehicle from June 22 is insane,” said Peter Eason (pictured), MD at ELB Partners.

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“There has also been a mission creep in terms of the cost with plans to stretch the charges later into the evening and at weekends.”

The backlash follows shock by the trade associations that the Mayor would jeopardise economic recovery with the reintroduction of the charge, as well as the Ultra Low Emission Zone, with the FTA accusing Sadiq Khan of opportunism.

Eason added: “I understand the need for the charge to stop cars coming into the centre, but vital deliveries do not stop and this 30% increase is going to impact logistics businesses dearly at a time when they can least afford it – we will simply have to pass those costs on.”