Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
September 5, 2001
Question By: 
Angie Bray
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
Ken Livingstone

Question

Isn't the whole problem of exemptions for you that in a sense there's a lot of pressure on you to give exemptions to all kinds of groups, often with good reasons? And perhaps you're minded to do so partly because you like the good headlines, but also partly because you're hoping to buy as much support for this whole project as you possibly can. Of course the more that you actually exempt, the less money you're going to make and, particularly in terms of residents in the central charging zone where you've given them a 90% exemption, or reduction I should say, the fact is that you would then be, probably by law I suspect, required to do precisely the same were you to carry your scheme further out. So everywhere you move the scheme you'd be having to meet the same 90% reduction, which would effectively render the whole thing completely useless, wouldn't it?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [1]

Answered By: 
Ken Livingstone

Well this is the trade off, The objective is not to raise money. It's to reduce congestion. The more exemptions that you make, the less the congestion is reduced. All the things about the finances are speculative. We don't know how many people will stop driving in. We don't know what level of fines there will be. Therefore I'm not banking on getting any money in on this. The money that comes in will be a nice bonus at the end and we will spend it on improving transport in London. But the issue that I focus on is the trade off in that every exemption that I give reduces the impact on congestion. And you're right, it is a difficult choice to make. My overall driving priority is to reduce congestion and minimise exemptions.