|Gough says 'on your bike' to Livingstone|
Tory candidate blasts U-turn on congestion charge for bikes
The idea that motorcyclists and scooter riders may soon have to pay the congestion charge is ‘scandalous’, Jonathan Gough, Conservative candidate for Ealing, Acton & Shepherd’s Bush claimed this week.
He says it also represents a serious U-turn for the Mayor and his transport authority, Transport for London who previously had pledged to encourage more sustainable and less congesting modes of travel across London.
Mr. Gough uses his scooter to get around London and argues that this mode of transport causes far less congestion than cars, saying, “Across the neighbourhood, we have tens of thousands of bike riders who get to work causing little pollution and minimal congestion. For many of us, public transport is too slow and inflexible to be useful."
He says that many car drivers who switched to two wheels when the Congestion Charge was introduced have been betrayed and he dismisses the safety argument given by TfL as a rationale for considering the charge. Charging bikers will increase revenue for TfL by £750,000 per week according to Conservative party figures and in the first year of charging, accidents involving bikers decreased by eight percent despite ridership increasing 20%.
He said, “This is not about safety, it’s about money - again. As usual the mayor is trying to get his hands on Londoners money and as usual it involves him breaking past promises. There are far more effective ways to reduce accidents such as public awareness campaigns. Not content with foisting the Tram on us, he wants to force us off our motorbikes as well.”
March 29, 2005