Congestion Charge as a Punitive Tax

MQT on 2002-07-16
Session date: 
July 16, 2002
Question By: 
Elizabeth Howlett
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


May I quote you, on 5 May 1999 in the House of Commons you said: `I was initially sceptical about the congestion tax, according to my broader version of it it is a flat rate tax like the poll tax. It would not be my first choice to fund transport. The tax could be introduced in a divisive and counter-productive way. It could be a massive levy dumped on Londoners without first seeing improvements in the quality of public transport." Why have you changed your view about this punitive tax?



Answer for Congestion Charge as a Punitive Tax

Answer for Congestion Charge as a Punitive Tax

Answered By: 
The Mayor

This quote is selective, and was in any case from well before the detailed development of the scheme.As part of the development of a congestion charging scheme for central London, TfL considered the various technical and operational risks and took account of the independent ROCOL report to ensure that congestion charging was not divisive or counter-productive. The emerging scheme was refined further in response to 18 months of consultation.Congestion charging will generate some £130 million net revenue per year for public transport improvements within Greater London for a minimum of 10 years, which is urgently needed to invest in our transport infrastructure. Furthermore, significant improvements to public transport, especially to buses, will be in place before congestion charging begins to offer a viable alternative to those who wish to transfer to public transport from their private vehicle.This will assist the vast majority of Londoners, particularly those on lower incomes, who are reliant on public transport to travel around London. Far from disadvantaging this section of the population further, the introduction of congestion charging and the impact of other initiatives that myself and TfL are pursuing (such as a greatly improved bus system) will improve their mobility as well as their environment. .