Stratford (Supplementary) [6]

Session date: 
January 14, 2004
Question By: 
Lynne Featherstone
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
Ken Livingstone


What I do want from you on the bridge is to stop saying that if you do not want it to be six lanes of traffic and you want it to be a tram, which is a much better place to put a tram than the bus way that you are proposing - if you do not want that, then you are hurting the people of east London, because it is not that no one wants a bridge.

As you have got in the consultation when you asked, 85% of people want a bridge. Of course, they bloody want a bridge " I apologise " but it is the type of bridge and it is the absolute lack of an overarching master plan and vision for that area.

Do you agree that you are actually giving the disadvantaged of that area a bad deal if you simply provide another Dartford Crossing, which this could be? You say `guard against', but your strings are being pulled by someone else now.

Supplementary To: 


Answer for Stratford (Supplementary) [6]

Answer for Stratford (Supplementary) [6]

Answered By: 
Ken Livingstone

No, no. Quite specifically, we are looking at a tariff regime that discourages anyone from thinking `I am not going to do the Dartford Crossing, I am going to drive in and cross on the Thames Gateway Bridge'. That is why we are talking about 100% extra if you are making that sort of trek.

I am also talking to the team about, given that we are going to have to go through this very complex highways inquiry, putting in the flexibility there so that by that time (and we are talking about a bridge coming along in about 2014 or 2015, we cannot be certain what the circumstances are like by then) we will have had the Greenwich Waterfront transit and the East London transit up and running for years. We may be moving to the point where those might be upgraded to tram systems, and therefore I am hoping that we will get into the highways powers the ability for a future Mayor to say `we will upgrade and convert two lanes of the bridge to a tramway'.

I want the flexibility to do that. It might be that the best way of guarding against commuter rat running is not just a differential toll between local residents and those who are not local residents, but different tolls at different times of the day. I am hoping, providing legally we can do it, we can build into the Act that flexibility so that we would be able to move very rapidly in the future to prevent the unfortunate consequence of long-term commuting across the bridge.