Congestion Charging (Supplementary) [4]

Session date: 
September 13, 2000
Question By: 
Bob Neill
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

I think fair do's for all sides. I think I can do it this way. So far as congestion charging is concerned, I was interested in your reply referring, with apparent approbation, to the response of the two focus groups, particularly the observation that it was worthwhile - that, although this charge would not do much to reduce congestion, it would raise a lot of revenue for investment in London's transport infrastructure. I am concerned about how that sits with the evidence given to the transport scrutiny panel looking into congestion charging by Keith Gardner, and by Derek Turner - of whom you have also spoken with approbation - to the effect that the objective of the charge is not primarily to raise revenue but to reduce congestion. The two are contradictory.

Given the importance, not least from a legal point of view, of ensuring that this scheme is not sold to Londoners on a false prospectus, can you state unequivocally where you stand as to the principal objective of the congestion charge scheme - to reduce congestion or to raise revenue?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Congestion Charging (Supplementary) [4]

Answer for Congestion Charging (Supplementary) [4]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

It is - and it stands alone - completely to reduce congestion. the public perception was what I was reporting. Clearly, as we proceed through the consultation period, it is incumbent on me and those who support the congestion charge to get across to the public the fact that the prime objective is reducing congestion. I would be bringing congestion charge proposals forward even if all the money raised went into the Treasury, because it would make it easier to get around London, and it would be justified by environmental and health consequences. It is driven solely by the desire to reduce congestion. But there is a clear public perception that it will lead to an improvement in spending on transport, because that is the guarantee that the Treasury have given - that they will no be taking the money from us; we have it for 10 years to spend on improving transport.