KPMG London senior partner Ian Barlow said: 'There is no doubt that for some retailers and traders there has been a negative effect on their businesses. In addition, delivery companies have seen no improvement in parking and delivery restrictions to counterbalance the additional costs of the charge.'
Overall, 90 per cent of businesses in London said they opposed the expansion of the charging zone, while 87 per cent opposed an increase of the charge. The findings prompted the CBI to call for a moratorium on the extension of the charge until further improvements to the capital's rules on parking loading and delivering had been made.
CBI director-general Sir Digby Jones said: 'We supported the principle of the congestion charge on the basis that it would come with other measures, including improvements to the regime for deliveries, which hasn't happened.'
The London Retail Consortium supported the CBI's call for more research on the effects of congestion charging. Alastair McKay, Chairman of the London Retail Consortium said: 'Congestion charging exacerbates the problems that already exist in delivering to and servicing shops. This serves only to burden retailers with additional operational costs and at a time when the trading environment is already tough and uncertain for many. We oppose any price increase or extension to the congestion charge zone without a longer trial period to develop a clearer picture of the effect the charge is having on the Capital - any move to expand a scheme with unknown consequences is premature at best.'