I identified Victoria Borwick’s question to Boris about extended CC free times yesterday, and apparently it elicited a response that indicates that Boris is considering scrapping the entire congestion charge, which would obviously be head and shoulders above any other stupidity he’s ever mooted, as well as going against everything he said in the campaign and any pretence about democracy (it wasn’t exactly in his manifesto, was it?).
There are lots of London Tories who want to scrap it, of course, but Boris actually has to run London’s transport, not listen to a lot of shrill maniacs who are stuck in the 80s. He also has to find room for his Routemasters and sea of 12m rigid buses, plus improve air quality and encourage cycling, walking and improve the built environment, none of which is remotely compatible with encouraging more inner city car use. I hope this was just a bone tossed out to the tiresome Borwick, but after the farce of the WEZ non-consultation I’m sure Kulveer and the boys are coming up with some equally stupid scheme to prove that this is what London really wants. It would also explain the obsession with trimming huge amounts off TfL’s budget – Boris will need a considerable amount of money for this on top of the other considerable amounts of money. Hasn’t he got anyone advising him with a clue about the history of transport in London, or are they all Ken-obsessed petrolheads who think anyone on a bus is a failure and motorists need to be mollycoddled? Boy, are they in the wrong city. He’ll be bringing back the Ringways next, probably making the poor pay for it somehow.
On a musing note, I once wondered if the Routemaster open platform idea was to compensate for refusing to take any proper steps to combat traffic congestion. Hey, you can just leap off when you get stuck! Brilliant! I also note (because I wrote some of them) that Boris is getting the raspberry even from the Standard’s commenters…
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