Lords' questions

Lords' questions

1.    Uber and the implication of London congestion fee charged to white vans but free to minicabs offering the same service.

Uber is a new phone style application used to book minicabs that are registered with the public carriage office in London. Use of the application is growing and has changed perception of the conventional form for a client to ring a centralised cab office.

Uber Rush is a new development focused on the same application but to use the mini cab to send a package or parcel. These competes directly with the traditional fleets of white vans on package deliveries in the streets of London.

The minicab is exempt of congestion charge fee.
The white van must pay congestion fee.

Consideration for a debate on the issue of one vehicle charged congestion fee and one delivering the same service which is not charged congestion fee.

2.    Freight vehicles not in production to provide ultra-low emissions.

The courier industry is particularly keen to provide the most carbon friendly solutions for inner city delivery.
A typical white van runs on diesel.
A typical white van driver working in London parks at roadside by their home and is unlikely to have a garage or off road parking. Facility and hook up for electrics is unlikely in the city fringe locations where white van drivers live.
White van driver covers around 250 miles per day, this exceeds present battery technology in an environment that is stop start in traffic. Routes change, bookings are sporadic, making hook up availability difficult.
Fuel savings are key to economic success of driver and company.
Ultra low emission zone is likely to arrive in London before the technology for van is available or affordable.

There is need for a vehicle solution for the courier industry to support Ultra low emissions.

Viscount Falkland. President IoC.

Question in the House of Lords 28th June 2011