Mayor's Report Update & Questions (Supplementary) [4]

Session date: 
May 22, 2002
Question By: 
Richard Barnes
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The principles you lay down about congestion charging in your answer to Angie Bray I find intriguing. You talk about reducing the short journeys, people jumping in their car and driving 200 yards down to the local shop, you talk about people popping across the zone and, indeed, applying that to congestion. Last Tuesday you called again for a congestion charge around Heathrow. Now, few people jump in their cars just to pop to Heathrow. It is a destination of choice and for specific reasons. Few people drive across the perimeter areas just to cut from Hillingdon to Hounslow, there being little attraction in Hounslow. Can I assume that your main aim of a congestion charge at Heathrow is really revenue raising, rather than congestion reduction?

Answer

Answer for Mayor's Report Update & Questions (Supplementary) [4]

Answer for Mayor's Report Update & Questions (Supplementary) [4]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The position's simple. There are two objectives. If you actually look at the pollution maps of London that have been in my strategies that have been published over the last year, you'll see that the worst pollution is in the area of central London, but the area around Heathrow is almost as bad. Now, 60% of that is car generated and therefore there would be a real benefit to air quality, I expect. But when I floated this issue it was not one that I was looking at it; I was saying that I would be prepared to ring-fence all the revenue raised by a congestion charge around Heathrow to go towards the construction of the Crossrail. It does seem to me, although the Government's given a directive that the Piccadilly Line and Heathrow Express must be extended to Terminal Five, for the volume of traffic and passengers I think we have to have Crossrail that gets them into central London.

Half the times I go to another airport in another country I have to pay a tax for some local project or scheme. At Sydney you pay a tax for noise reduction in the area. Given some of the richest people in the world are moving in and out of Heathrow, and we'll exempt all the workforce, I think they should make a contribution to London's long-term welfare.