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Customers will pay for London charge

MATERIALS

MATERIALS suppliers have given Ken Livingstone's central London congestion charge a cautious 'thumbs-up' following its launch last week.

But some firms, including giants Lafarge, Hanson, RMC and Aggregate Industries, insisted the cost would have to be passed on to the customer, despite faster delivery times and reduced traffic in the zone.

Drivers must pay £5 a day to drive into the centre of London from 7 am to 6.30 pm or face a penalty of up to £120.

Bill Bolsover, managing director of Aggregate Industries, said: 'It has an impact on our London business. We will be passing on a 30 pence per tonne surcharge for aggregate and asphalt delivery within the zone.'

Other companies put more emphasis on the time benefits.

Edward Naylor, chief executive of manufacturer Naylor Industries, admitted he had been surprised by the advantages of the charge and said he would not pass the cost to his customers.

He said: 'We have to be pretty positive about it so far. It is not a customer surcharge and it has helped us to achieve our delivery time targets.'

Hanson, RMC and Lafarge revealed they would also be looking at ways to recoup the cost of deliveries in the area.