Your editorial on the Congestion Charge (7 March, page 3) came as something of a surprise to the manufacturers and distributors in the construction industry.
Our surprise was not so much that you believe construction should be exempt from the charge, but rather that you argue "there's a cast-iron case for not imposing it on contractors – how else can they transport materials?" I thought it was the manufacturers and distributors that typically supply the materials to construction sites. If anyone should be exempt from the charge, surely it is them.

By far a more serious threat to the economic viability of moving materials across the country, however, is the implementation of the Working Time Directive – which sets out a weekly average of 48 duty hours calculated over a four-month period – and the introduction of a Road Transport Directive. Together, these will mean that by March 2005 hauliers – including contract hauliers – will be limited in the number of hours they can work.

Not only will the industry be trying to recruit additional drivers at a time of scarcity, I am sure you will appreciate that the direct cost of these directives will run into millions of pounds.