This afternoon the Boris campaign is loudly signalling that the Mayor’s transport manifesto launched yesterday in Stratford failed to make mention of his secret plans for extending road pricing across London. Boris says:
It has been revealed today that if re-elected as Mayor, Ken Livingstone will roll out the congestion charge to other London Boroughs such as Bromley, Harrow, Ilford, Romford and Wood Green.
The Mayor failed to include any new details of his plans for this roll out in his transport manifesto launch yesterday, however it has been discovered that he has asked Transport for London to develop plans to extend the charge to the outer London Boroughs.
Commenting on this news, the Conservative Candidate for Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“It is clear the Mayor wishes to roll out congestion charging more widely in boroughs across London. This is a Mayor who is out of touch with people living in Greater London who rely on their cars because of the poor quality of public transport. No doubt now his plans are out he will deny it – but we must remember that he has form. First it was £5, then £8 and soon to be £25. We cannot trust him on the Congestion Charge.”
It looks like they have picked this up from Ben Webster at the Times today.
Corroboration for this story can be found in “Transport 2025″ the Mayor’s 20 year transport strategy. This document makes numerous references to road user charging. TfL says:
Road user charging is generally regarded as the most effective way to match travel demands to available road space. It can also provide additional revenues for expenditure on alternative transport options.
The Government has introduced the TIF to help direct its funding support towards two types of project: “productivity” schemes and “demand management” schemes. TfL is considering its bids for support from this fund.
Furthermore, if a road user charging policy was implemented, an additional increase in bus provision would be required to provide an attractive alternative and support the modal shift away from the car.
In the longer term, major new rail infrastructure needs to be accompanied by further road user charging and land use planning. … The DfT’s feasibility study of a national road user charging scheme projected that charging in areas such as outer London could encourage a shift to public transport and also increase car occupancy.
Don’t forget that the current Mayor, who makes laughable claims of competence, has taken £1.2 billion off Londoners for Congestion Charging, and spent it all, see here, whilst seeing bus operating subsidies (ie not including the capital costs of the buses, infrastructure, etc) rise to £617 million last year, see here.