Mike Tuffrey is looking increasing like the Lib Dem’s only credable potential candidate for Mayor of London, I like him well enough but disagree with him on a lot of issues.
One issue he and I don’t see eye to eye on is his now found passion for localised congestion charging. What is it with inner London politicians trying to cobble drivers in outer London? I was bad enough when Livingstone ignored the results on the Western Extension Zone consultation and introduced it anyway, then Jenny Jones called for congestion charging right out to the M25 and now Mike wants suburban charging to.
Mike’s position was made clear in this interview with the Guardian’s Dave Hill. I was particularly drawn to this passage:
He says he “can see roles for mini zones around, say Kingston or other town centres,” and remarks that if Boris can favour charging utility companies for digging up roads there’s no reason why juggernauts can’t be asked to pay for driving on them if they’re hogging lots of space.
“Politicians have been too afraid to talk about how we are going to decongest our roads, how we are going to make it easier for people to drive. The logic of looking at what times of day and by whom this precious resource is used is impeccable. In a sustainable city containing many more people who still want to get around in motor vehicles I can’t see any alternative to some sort of rationing or pricing mechanism.”
While I’m confident that Boris won’t be swayed into hitting suburban drivers with yet more taxes and charges I can’t say the same thing about Livingstone.