London Mayor's transport plans "ignore needs of road users"
The Mayor of London’s transport plans are based on misrepresentations and ignore the needs of road users, the RHA has said.
Yesterday (Tuesday 18 January) London Mayor Sadiq Khan issued a press release outlining a range of actions to charge drivers in London for using the city’s road network.
We see the move as an attempt by TfL and the Mayor to price people off the road network – a tactic that regressively attacks those who have to use vehicles for work or essential mobility.
The Mayor has highlighted an internal report as justification for a range of charges he wants to introduce. We believe the report will be used to justify asking the Government for more money – and to tax the road users of London.
The Mayor’s own press release makes claims that are misleading. A key point made by the Mayor is that: “The capital has seen a shift to driving during the pandemic…” but TfL’s most recent “Travel in London” report shows that is wrong, car driver and passenger trips in London actually fell by 15.4%.
Additionally, the claim car use needs to fall by 27% is a new target, created in the report rather an existing goal.
Blind to city’s needs
Duncan Buchanan, RHA Policy Director – England and Wales, said: “So why are we concerned about these anti-car measures proposed by the Mayor? It is because it is part of the long-term pattern of road miss-management in London that has deliberately created more and more congestion and has reduced the resilience of our roads to the point where commercial road activity is being damaged. Trips are getting longer, more expensive and less reliable.
“Worse, the Mayor, TfL and London local authorities are blind to the city’s need for commercial transport. Coaches, vans and lorries do not work in London for fun, they work in London to provide people and business with services and goods they need. Adding time and cost to commercial road transport makes London less competitive and more expensive.
“The use of selective and fantasy numbers, misinformation and the ignoring of reality shows how disconnected Sadiq Khan and Transport for London are from the reality for most road users. The Mayor is cynically misusing green issues as a cover to tax and punish road users instead of managing road properly to minimise congestion and pollution.”
“We believe there needs to be a national debate about the positive value of mobility – the green agenda too often is dismissive or ignorant of the critical need for transport. Freight transport in all forms, buses and coaches need road networks that facilitate mobility, not networks that prevent efficient clean use.”
We will be doing a fuller assessment of the Mayor’s proposals and the “Analysis of a Net Zero 2030 Target for Greater London” report.
Are you impacted by the new report? Contact us here. Duncan Buchanan can be reached on Twitter.