Westward Extension Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [7]

Session date: 
June 22, 2005
Question By: 
Bob Blackman
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

I am intrigued by your answers to Angie (Bray) about the consultation. I want to focus on the residents of the area slightly outside the proposed zone, who of course are going to suffer very greatly as a result of the scheme, if it is introduced. Most people would say that in the Kensington area, there is a problem around the rush hour times, but not outside, during the major part of the day.

What message do you have to the people of South Brent, who are going to suffer very greatly from increased congestion as people avoid going into the Congestion Charging area, so we have more rat running, and those people who have to travel to that area for hospitals, for schools, and for their businesses on a day-to-day basis and will have to pay it in full, when the richer people of Kensington and Chelsea will get a 90% discount on the Congestion Charge?

Answer

Answer for Westward Extension Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [7]

Answer for Westward Extension Congestion Charge (Supplementary) [7]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I daresay I would point to the fact that not a single rat run has developed around the existing Congestion Charge Zone, and we all did genuinely expect there would be some. Digby Jones (Director-General, CBI) lives in one street that was considered to be one of the most obvious for a potential rat run, and he said he notices nothing. None of our surveys have thrown up anything, so I do not think there will be any greater chance of rat running developing around an extension than there was around the original, very successful Zone.

Of course, people travelling for serious hospital appointments, such as regular chemotherapy and so on, will be compensated, as are patients in the existing Zone, when their relatives and friends have to drive them in. I would, however, come back to a point I said earlier: what we have to do in this city is reduce car travel, and that means not that people cannot have a car, but we want them to use it more wisely and accept the fact that we all have to scale down our car use.

Now, we are the only city in the world which has seen a modal shift from car to bus. This is something to be very proud of. It has helped to restrain the climate change impact of London, i.e. minimise its growth more. We still have a long way to go. I would like to see a continuing reduction in car usage and people much more likely to walk. That means we have to make it more attractive to walk or to cycle, and we have plans for that, as well - as well as using public transport more often. If we do not all travel in our cars less, we will all contribute to the catastrophic problems at the mid-point of this century.