Well, after all the hints and suggestions that a third way of adapting the congestion charge Western Extension Zone (perhaps by reducing the operating hours), Boris is scrapping the whole thing, from 2010.  This, coupled with the cuts to TfL projects and the inability to find a measly £15m for the London Overground Clapham Junction extension, should put paid to any suggestion that Boris is interested in public transport (we’d already concluded that) but also proves that the green posing, Isobel Dedring notwithstanding, is just hogwash – the awful warning at the last TfL Board meeting of his absurd talk about the motor car being the great emancipator of women shows the reality behind the careful public spin – in a choice between the environment and the car, the car wins.  If the people of Kensington want the freedom to guzzle gas, pollute the air and clog up the streets, they get it.  If the people of Peckham want better public transport connections, they can get stuffed.  Boris is a Tory, serving the interests of Tories.  Who’d have guessed?

With the great timing of all these things, the TfL RSS feed is spamming me with more borough-specific change-a-few-words press releases, about the £168m in borough funding schemes.  Funny how there’s more money for that, too.

 

18 Responses to WEZ: Mr. Toad Rides Out

  1. Outside Left says:

    It is ironic that the people who would benefit most from reduced congestion – the people of Kensington & Chelsea – are so opposed to the western extension of the C-charge.
    As for Johnson’s green posturings, yes, they are just that. Wobbling around on a bike in his suit does not make Johnson a green. Lots of car owners have bikes; it doesn’t make them sympathetic to public transport investment (as is increasingly evident).

  2. Tom says:

    I’m not sure they are opposed, to be honest. I haven’t had time to do more than a quick addition, but it seems the TfL-initiated attitudinal survey had a narrow majority against abolition (45%-41%) on the residents portion of the survey. The one that overwhelmingly supported abolition was the write-in one, which is the most open to bias. No prizes for guessing which one Boris went with. Frankly having two surveys with widely differing results means the whole thing is highly dubious.

    Local opinion here (and I live not *that* far from the edge of it) is split between ‘Yay Boris’ and people concerned with extra traffic, particularly around Shepherd’s Bush, where it’s a thorny subject already due to Westfield.

    Oh, and the Lib Dems really need to buck up their ideas, they lost my second preference vote in May over this (Sian Berry benefitted). Wittering on about road pricing as if Boris is going to ever likely to introduce that in a million years.

  3. Guano says:

    There was a large majority in favour of Cross River Tram in the consultations, and even in favour of the specific question of re-allocating road-space from cars to trams, but that doesn’t seem to count.

  4. Tom says:

    Good point well made. There was, of course, no consultation on bendy replacement and the DLR Dagenham Dock extension and Parliament Square schemes were pulled just before public inquiries.

  5. Richard says:

    The Western Extension was ridiculous:

    *The are was NOT congested (I speak from experience of driving around that area every day)
    *The public voted overwhelmingly against it during the consultation period
    *It reduced (arguably obliterated) the positive effects of the central zone because people who were most likely to drive into town could do it again for ‘free’
    *CO2 emmisions have risen dramatically on the boundary roads (Earls Court Road and Warwick Road). These roads already had very high CO2 before the charge went in – it made it worse.

  6. OHOC says:

    Richard;

    You may drive around there every day, but as a pedestrian who also happens to live and commute through K&C every day I can assure you that it was (and remains, although slightly less so) congested.

    Incidentally, were you the guy who parked (for no apparent reason) on the zebra crossing and then tried to run me over when I had to walk round your Bentley? Probably not, but if I ever find that guy…

    In answer to your fourth point, since the other points have been addressed better by others, surely then a larger, London wide congestion zone is in order then? Perhaps in the same way LU has zones, we can have sets of zones for the congestion charge with a different pricing for each zone based on the amount of congestion.

  7. Chunters says:

    Well at last a member of government that did what he said he would.
    Also the fact that he listened to the people.
    This unlike his predecessor, you remember, the ‘Man of the people’ when in fact he completely ignored the people.
    That’ll be the left wing for ya’.
    What a breath of fresh air this man is.

  8. prj45 says:

    Richard :”The are was NOT congested”

    Absolute cock.

    I ride a pushbike through West London daily, and have done for years. Before the extension Holland Park Avenue was pretty much consistantly a car park from top to bottom (going down the hill) sometimes backing up into Notting Hill. These days with the charge there’s sometimes a few cars at the bottom.

    Perversely West London was tonight (on the eve of the announcement) congested to a level I’ve not seen since before the charge, I seriously suspect a lot of people saw the Standard’s leader board and thought it was finished today.

  9. Tom says:

    “What a breath of fresh air this man is.”

    Troll with hugely unintended irony there, given the effect of tens of thousands of extra vehicles on London’s roads. Cough.

    West London looks mostly OK on the spiffing new TfL trafficalerts microsite (http://trafficalerts.tfl.gov.uk/microsite/), except Notting Hill, Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush, which are suffering badly. Notting Hill is the only one in the WEZ, and that has temporary traffic lights at the moment.

  10. Mathew says:

    Chunters
    “Well at last a member of government that did what he said he would.
    Also the fact that he listened to the people.”

    Rejoice London! Johnson has actually done something he said he would. Shame its not to the benefit of all Londoners. Still, there is always a next time.

  11. Chunters says:

    Tom, get a grip.

    The western end of the WEZ will of course have a greater CO2 gas problem. It is the fact that cars are driving around trying to avoid going in it!!

  12. Chunters says:

    Mathew, all I can say is Democracy!! It works.

    Power to the people?

  13. Mathew says:

    Chunters
    “Mathew, all I can say is Democracy!! It works.
    Power to the people?”
    So a consultation involving 0.33% of Londoners that affects 100% of Londoners = democracy. Mmmm

  14. Chunters says:

    Mathew,
    That’s precisely how the last Stasi, sorry Labour government got into power. Having only 30% of the vote.

  15. Mathew says:

    Mathew shouts .33% (note little tiny dot Chunters).

  16. Tom says:

    Nicely pwnd, Mathew…

  17. Rob says:

    “affects 100% of Londoners”

    You wouldn’t by any chance be exagerating a little? Not really sure that the people of Croydon, Bromley or Bexley, for example, will be greatly affected by this. I believe Ken’s original consultation was limited to what was also defined as the affected areas, although the only meaningful consultation is the election which all eligible Londoners were free to take part in -the result of which awarded Boris the power to take the decision.

  18. Where_art_thou_ken says:

    Rob,

    “affects 100% of Londoners”

    - Tell me – are you exempt from paying towards the lost £50 – £70 million in revenue for TFL each year out there in Croydon?

    …no – I didn’t think so.

    Do you think you will be exempt from paying the EU fines for failing to have the agreed standard of clean air in the city?

    No – didn’t think you would.

    So 100% it is then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>