Westward Extension of Congestion Charging (Supplementary) [7]

Session date: 
January 14, 2004
Question By: 
John Biggs
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
Ken Livingstone

Question

The second part then, about the priority of this scheme. Labour Members are probably more agnostic than you are as the Mayor on this issue, but we want to see how the consultation develops. But I put it to you that fundamental to this policy is that it has got to be a priority for Transport for London to tackle congestion in London, whether it is in west London or whether it is in London as a whole. That strategy has got to be to deal with congestion in the suburbs as much as it has with central London, through public transport investment, marketing, traffic management, spatial planning, light rail and tram schemes, for example.

I suspect that you might agree with me on that, but it seems to me that, if we are being political here, we need to be clear about the alternatives to your Mayoralty and whether they give similar priority to that and whether that is consistent with their proposals for cutting taxes and not investing in London's transport.

Answer

Answer for Westward Extension of Congestion Charging (Supplementary) [7]

Answer for Westward Extension of Congestion Charging (Supplementary) [7]

Answered By: 
Ken Livingstone

I made clear earlier: I consider an extension to the congestion zone a medium rather than a high priority. There are much more important priorities before us, and it will simply depend on what level of funding we get from Government whether or not it goes ahead.

But the overall question of tackling congestion in London is absolutely crucial. We have had a huge step forward in central London, and I do not think anyone but a few isolated nutters denies that. But what is not reported in the press is the day-to-day horror of the scale of congestion you have in all the suburban town centres, where you do not have the public transport alternative. That has now to be the priority that comes into view for Transport for London to tackle.