Another day, another unwelcome headline for the Mayor in the Evening Standard:
"Motorists face being charged to drive on London's busiest roads under radical new plans by Boris Johnson.Drivers could be forced to pay for every mile they drive — on top of the congestion charge — as the Mayor fights to plug a multi-million-pound hole in the Transport for London budget.If previous government proposals are followed the cost could be up to £1.34 a mile. Someone with a 12-mile round trip to work in central London during the day could pay a total of £20...The busiest areas in London would be targeted. These include Edgware Road, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Embankment and busy suburban areas such as Croydon and Greenwich"
The proposals are contained within Boris's Transport Strategy released today (more of which later).
If implemented they would go some way to making up the lost revenue from scrapping the Western Congestion Charge, and towards paying for the removal of bendy buses etc.
However, when I contacted City Hall about it this morning, I got the following response:
Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London's transport advisor, said:"There is absolutely no scheme in the Mayor's Transport Strategy to introduce road user charging in London. (my emphasis)
"The strategy is a comprehensive look at how to manage the growing demands on transport in London over the period to 2031. As such it includes the flexibility that, if the raft of other measures to address congestion and pollution do not have the expected effects, road user charging could at that time be considered. This would be very much the last resort, and very much in the long term." (My emphasis)
So it is in the strategy but it isn't?
And it's a long-term problem, which is why we won't see this (non-existent) proposal implemented any time soon?
Oh dear. Back to the drawing board I think.
-Update- More on Boris's Transport Strategy: