Congestion charging doesn’t bother FDs

Link: Last week’s Big Question

Unlike many of their peers, it would seem that UK finance directors are remarkably relaxed about the vexed question of congestion charging.

Only one in three of more than 300 FDs responding to this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big interviewed said congestion charging would damage their business. A £5 charge will apply in London from next February and other cities are closely watching the results of the experiment.

One FD was particularly damning, saying: ‘People are being penalised for both inadequate public transport and now having to pay if they take alternative means.’

Peter Lancaster, finance director of Prospect Peachegate Group, said: ‘This will cost, the company worked out, about £10,000 and so, as it is hits the bottom line, it is damaging.’

Delivery firms will also be hit, as Mark Benfield, FD of OCF testified.

‘Parking and access in central London is already a major problem for us. Congestion charges will merely add to our misery,’ he said.

But 59% of finance directors said their businesses would not be affected by the charge. ‘The congestion charge should have been introduced years ago,’ said one supporter.

Another added: ‘As a company we promote environmentally friendly methods such as walking and biking. Most members of staff use public transport so we don’t really see it affecting our business.’

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