Retail Property - Retailers slam London's c-charge

London's congestion charge is a year old, and a new analysis of its impact by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reveals the retail sector is the big loser. The report shows that 90 per cent of retailers and 75 per cent of leisure occupiers view the charge negatively.

Retailers interviewed for the survey felt that fewer people are travelling into the charging zone if their journey is not necessary, and turnover is suffering as a consequence.

RICS found that 64 per cent of commercial property surveyors said the impact on shops varies, depending on where they are located in the zone.

The charge has the biggest impact on businesses on the zone boundary, because customers living just outside are unwilling to travel in and pay the charge.

RICS chief executive Louis Armstrong said: 'The effect on retailers may not be fully felt for years to come. Public transport in London needs sustained attention and investment for the concept of reduced car use to work.'

- Ken Livingstone: overleaf.