Mayor's Report Update & Questions (Supplementary) [8]

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

Question

Just one matter that arises from the Mayor's recent comment a few moments ago. He referred to polls favourable to the congestion charge. Would you agree that the results you get out of a poll often depends upon how honest you are about the proposition? Would you think you would get the same results if you were to paint the congestion charge in the real terms, namely that:

· As a means of reducing congestion it will, if it succeeds, kill itself as a means ultimately of raising revenue?

· That, as a means of reducing discretionary journeys into London, a far more effective tool is the £4 an hour price mechanism of parking charges pioneered by Westminster City Council; and that

· As a means of reducing pollution in central London a far more effective tool is a low emission zone, again where the pioneering work that you have chosen to produce is done by Westminster City Council?

Do you think you'd get the same results if you put in that rather more straightforward fashion for Londoners?

Answer

Answer for Mayor's Report Update & Questions (Supplementary) [8]

Answer for Mayor's Report Update & Questions (Supplementary) [8]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Members of the Assembly had the poll details when they came out. They're exactly in line with this opinion polling conducted by the Evening Standard and other organisations, which had no intention of being favourable to me. The questions are drawn up by the polling organisation. We use reputable firms who refuse to allow the client to determine the wording of the questions and insist on their right to do so to avoid exactly that sort of nonsense.

If you actually look at all the polls done for TfL, which you have had, and the public polls done by the media, what it shows is the major opposition to the congestion charge is in those boroughs on the periphery of London. The most support is as you get closest to it and I suspect that the position is people in the centre are more alert to the exact details of it because it immediately impacts on them. Many of the people in outer London are concerned about things which actually aren't going to happen, or they assume it's coming to them soon when, in actual fact, there is no intention, other than Heathrow, for anything outside central London.