Labour: just buy a new car
On Thursday I asked the Mayor if someone can’t afford the £12.50 daily charge, can’t afford to buy a new compliant car, but still needs their car to get around, what does he suggest they do?
His answer was: fill in my consultation.
But then one of Labour’s most senior Assembly Members let the cat out of the bag. Labour Deputy Leader and former Labour Leader in Wandsworth Leonie Cooper informed us that people should just upgrade their car, because according to her it’s “only” about £3000 to buy a ULEZ compliant car.
This is the London Labour mentality we are up against.
The real plan
It’s not really about clean air. If it was, why would The Mayor spend £400 million on a camera network to track vehicles across the whole of London? He could spend the £400 million upgrading buses, taxis, or giving people incentives to replace their car. Next time you hear the Mayor saying he has no money, remember that he’s put aside £400 million for a camera network.
The Mayor’s £400 million ULEZ camera network suddenly makes sense if you know that he wants to turn every road in London into a toll road. He calls it “smart road user charging”. The Mayor says he’d like to do it but the technology isn’t in place. Now the ULEZ camera expansion will put that technology in place.
The ULEZ charge would be the same in every part of London. But we know the transport reality is not the same in every part of London.
It feels like people in central London imposing punitive policies on outer London, without knowing or caring about the damage. For people used to nipping around London on the Tube, cars seem an unnecessary luxury. For people who enjoy central London’s amazing public transport network, cars seem an unnecessary luxury.
For those of us in outer London, we know that for many journeys our public transport is slow and inefficient. And we know that if the Mayor succeeds in his plan to price people off the road, people will lose their jobs, businesses will lose customers, and in a cost of living squeeze he will be squeezing even more.
So I will support you by speaking up for you here in City Hall, you can help us to make that case by showing that you agree.
In the meantime, please spread the word by telling friends and colleagues, sharing this email, sharing the links to our petition and to the Mayor’s consultation, and making sure the Mayor understands that in outer London he cannot simply price people off the road.
Neil Garratt AM
London Assembly Member for Croydon & Sutton
City Hall, Kamal Chunchie Way, London, E16 1ZE