Mayor avoids Green Party questions on plans to cut traffic in London

Yesterday at the Mayor’s Question Time, Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell called on the Mayor to bring forward plans to cut traffic in London.

Despite confirming that London traffic has rocketed back up since lockdown has eased – with more cars on the roads than pre-lockdown March – the Mayor continually avoided answering Caroline Russell’s questions on what measures he is considering.

Caroline has been calling for a smart, fair, privacy-friendly road pricing scheme to replace the piecemeal schemes like the ULEZ and c-charge across the city since her election in 2016. A London-wide scheme would help seriously cut pollution and congestion in the city. However, the Mayor refused to be drawn on whether he was working on plans to bring in this scheme when questioned by Caroline.

Comments from Caroline:

“Like other Londoners, I am sick and tired of breathing in filthy air, which is mainly caused by traffic on our streets. We’re in the middle of a respiratory pandemic and traffic is still rising.

“Smart, fair, privacy-friendly road pricing is the only long-term, pan-London way to tackle congestion and pollution – especially in areas of deprivation where worst-off Londoners also suffer the worst pollution.

“I’m encouraged that although the Mayor was avoiding talking about road pricing this means he hasn’t ruled it out, in fact he even hinted that it might be included in discussions he’s having with Government about TfL’s bailout.

“Smart, fair, privacy-friendly road pricing is the best route out of our congestion and pollution nightmare and if he’d listened to our repeated calls to bring this in over the last four years he’d be in a better position to act right now to cut traffic and clean up our filthy air.”

The Mayor’s Transport Strategy only commits to a more modern solution by 2040, but action is needed much faster to answer current problems of traffic congestion and pollution, along with setting London on a path to respond to the climate emergency.

This avoidance on the issue from the Mayor comes just one day after Caroline and the Green London Assembly team exposed the true cost of the Silvertown Tunnel and the Mayors’ efforts to conceal the fact that it has risen almost three times the original amount. The outrageous rise in cost and the devastating impact the tunnel will have on London traffic and air pollution are why The Green Party are calling for the project to be cancelled.

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