I’ve just caught up with last Tuesday’s debate on Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman interviewing the three leading candidates which you can see on BBC iPlayer for the next two days.
Three transport points stuck out for me. Firstly Brian Paddick unequivocally stated that he would scrap the Western extension to the Congestion Charge. This is a good thing since the Mayor introduced it in the face of opposition by the majority of residents. However the LibDem candidate failed to point out that he would replace it with a peak time congestion charge stretching over the vast majority of Greater London, the boundary being the limits of the Low Emission Zone. Woe betide anyone who lives in Worcester Park which would be split in two with this proposed charge.
The second two were about bendy buses. When confronted with the fact that bendy buses kill more people than Routemasters, Ken Livingstone explained that this was not because they were long, but because more people fell underneath them; an oblique and somewhat blinkered response. I’ve seen a few near misses with pedestrians toes – fortunately nothing more serious- as the buses turn corners.
Boris Johnson pointed out that bendy buses were hotbeds of fraud with some £8m of fares being lost. I have rarely used a bendy bus in London but used them frequently over the last few days in Rome – did I say that I had been away on holiday:)? There, the buses were packed, making it physically impossible for anyone to validate their ticket unless they happened to be pinned against the machine and feeling dextrous.
Click on the picture to see the full transport leaflet from Boris.
Since the election imprint was on the second page of the transport leaflet, I’ve added one below to cover the document cover shown above.
Promoted by Ian Sanderson on behalf of Boris Johnson, both at 30 Millbank London SW1P 4DP