London Mayor's Transport Strategy — A Blatant Attack on Motorists
Campaign Against It Launched
Last year Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London on a manifesto pledging to tackle congestion through harmless-sounding measures like encouraging car clubs and managing road works. He also promised to maintain the Congestion Charge at its current level.
He would not have got elected if he had come out with blatantly anti-motorist proposals. However, his recent Mayor's Transport Strategy (MTS) does precisely this.
The under-publicised proposals seek "new ways of paying for road use", hinting at pay-per-mile road pricing. This could see the Congestion Charge extended across Greater London, with local boroughs asked to use it as a blunt traffic reduction measure. Alternatively, they could be asked to bring in "Workplace Parking Levies" — effectively a tax on going to work.
Britain's drivers pay five times over to use the roads. Yet the Mayor feels that Londoners "pay too little", without giving any figures to support this. He alleges that public transport fare payers subsidise motorists which is simply wrong - the reverse is the case as public transport is massively subsidised out of public taxation while motorists pay more than the costs of maintaining the roads.
It is particularly worrying that he wants to take over collection of VED ("road tax") and set the rates which would provide another way for the Mayor to extract money from car drivers on top of congestion charging.
He seeks to discourage car ownership, using a reduction in the availability of private parking and kerb side parking spaces with discriminatory parking charges against some vehicles.
Even Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs - minicabs) come under attack with proposals to limit their numbers or increase their costs by dropping their exemption from the congestion charge.
He proposes reallocating road space away from drivers, even though the reduction in space has been a key factor in increasing congestion. He even hints at car parking at stations being made less convenient or spaces being removed.
In summary, the Mayor makes it plain that he intends to reduce car use in favour of public transport, cycling and walking by penalising motorists and making it more expensive for you to own and drive a car. The private motorist could become a vanishing species in London if the Mayor has his way, or your costs for driving will skyrocket.
These proposals would give the Mayor the ability to build a financial empire and dictate the lives of Londoners much more extensively than at present. The MTS is yet another missed opportunity to develop an integrated transport strategy with an improved road network in London.
Readers have until 2nd October to object to the proposals.
The Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) is supporting a campaign which has been launched against the Mayor's proposals.
For more information, see www.cantpaywontpay.london