Draft London Plan Panel Report (Supplementary) [4]

Session date: 
September 17, 2003
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

I think we on this side actually very warmly welcome the fact that the EIP has endorsed the London Plan by and large with one or two exceptions, and I know there is a debate to be had yet about some of those issues. Do you not think, Mayor, that the point that is being made by our Green Party colleagues over there in a sense fundamentally undermines the London Plan?

The whole point of having the London Plan focusing on providing jobs, houses, businesses and quality of life for London and particularly focused around the Thames Gateway area, absolutely requires strategic transport investment. They are essentially trying to undermine that by their attacks on the river crossings. Surely pedestrian facilities and cycling facilities can only be one plank of a balanced transport strategy.

Answer

Answer for Draft London Plan Panel Report (Supplementary) [4]

Answer for Draft London Plan Panel Report (Supplementary) [4]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I do think we have to recognise that this is not a police state. We cannot determine how people will organise their lives and the freedom to travel, I think, is most probably one people have come to value to an inordinate degree. In Outer London, we see the consequences of that with constant increases in car use and all the problems of pollution and congestion. So far, what we are talking about is trying to moderate the growth.

Ideally, one would actually want to see a huge shift in Outer London on to public transport. The build up of the bus service may get us to that towards the end of the decade, that we get a bus service so attractive that people do see the value of switching from cars. There is clearly now some switching of car ridership on to the bus service as it has improved but these things take time. I do think there is an interesting debate when I have occasionally popped along to the London Green Party, which only replicates the different ideological wings in green parties across Europe, between those who are doing their best to moderate the excesses of capitalism and the scale of pollution that we face, and a much more fundamental wing who really want to change the whole nature of the way we live.

All I would say is, in the kindest and most respectful way to my Green colleagues, I do not see a cat-in-hell's chance of that fundamentalist wing providing an alternative to the world as it now is.