COMMENTS ON THE MAYOR'S TRANSPORT STRATEGY
The following are just a few of the comments received, edited for brevity, and anonymised - most of the comments received were very lengthy:
"I wish to object to: Any measures that reallocate road space away from cars, street closures on a flimsy excuse, the utter rubbish that streets are for people not cars although people use cars, the concept that the Mayor can decide if my journey is essential or not, the absurd suggestion that using my car is less efficient than other forms of transport. The MTS appears to stand for "Motorists Should Suffer"…. C.B.
"We are effectively asked to provide a blank cheque to the Mayor, who doesn't even give an idea of the cost. I object to reallocating road space away from cars - it makes congestion worse, and unnecessary large population increases which can only add to pressure on road space"…..K.S.
"I live in an area where you can park and travel with moderate ease. We will now be handing over money to travel in our own vehicle, dictated to like a communist state. It is going to be more costly to live in London and an even more stressful place to live."…. L.H.
"They are drastic and draconian proposals that could be very expensive for Londoners and visitors to London. No costing seems to have been done. These are the kind of proposals one would read on a Facebook page. Sadiq Khan promised to be a Mayor for all Londoners but you would find the prejudice against drivers unacceptable if directed against any other minority, be it religious or ethnic, age or gender. An example of this prejudice is the claim that any amount of walking to a bus stop or station, however short, can be an important part of staying healthy. Many drivers use their cars as part of an active lifestyle, but instead you [the Mayor] jeer about health problems due to an overdependence on cars."….K.F.
"People sometimes have time constraints and occasionally it may be quicker to drive than to use public transport, particularly in the evenings. As a woman I feel safer driving in the evenings or in the night, so reducing parking spaces may contribute to endangering my safety"…..M.F.
"I object most strongly to all the proposals to tax or discourage car use in the Mayor's Transport Strategy, and in particular the idea of extending the Congestion Charge. This was not spelled out in his manifesto and if it had been he would not have got my vote"…..Z.R.
"He [Sadiq Khan] said he would be a Mayor for all Londoners but he is turning out to be a Mayor for a minority of flat earthers who are prejudiced against motorists. He spouts the nonsense that streets are for people not cars."…..E.T.
"We have to visit London to attend hospital visits with one of our children, who requires ongoing specialist medical care. Imposition of this new policy would cause hardship and make our visits much more difficult and expensive. We own a modern petrol car that is not only highly efficient but also compliant to the latest EU emissions legislation. We therefore consider it unacceptable that we will be caught in this heinous new legislation, which simply brings out the worst of the left wing Labour ideologies" …. M.L.
"I am a licensed taxi driver of 40 years standing and I wish to object to the Mayor's Transport Strategy. The improvements proposed and also implemented over the last few years are simply not working! Congestion and pollution in London has been compounded by road closures, cycle lanes and narrowing of already limited road space and it is now time to say enough - a city is a city and if it prospers it is going to generate traffic. TfL should be managing this problem, not stifling it with ridiculous schemes that really benefit no one…"…B.B.
"I completely disagree on the proposal to increase the congestion charge zone to the North and South Circular. Unlike the centre of London, there are thousands of low income families and small businesses that rely on the roads on a daily basis". ….G.N.
"I drive a car in London because it costs me less than taxis, and tube stops are too sparse and frankly ugly to make it realistic where I live and work. I do not wish to have to walk looking smart and wearing high heels - required for work - 10 to 15 minutes in the cold and dark to a tube stop and wait for an overcrowded expensive and complicated tube system that is unreliable. My car will take me from and to my destination directly. Your solution to London's traffic and pollution problems seems to be to penalise car drivers. Why don't you try a carrot, make public transport a viable option that is actually pleasant and affordable to take?"…..C.B.
"I have been alarmed to learn of the Mayor's draconian proposals clearly designed to limit, and vastly increase the cost of using private motor vehicles in London. His draft strategy paper is full of sweeping statements, many unsupported and/or uncosted, as to the perceived benefits to be derived from the proposals. No viable alternatives are put forward to replace the myriad of journeys (and the reasons for them) currently made by the private motorists in the London area. The document smacks of the utopian desire for central control so beloved of his political allies and so redolent of Orwell's 1984"…..K.B.
"I live and work in one borough of London and my 85 year old mother lives in another. I am her sole carer and would not be able to do this if I had to pay a congestion charge."…H.M.
"Yet again the motorist is being targeted as a cash cow. I live in the London Borough of Lewisham and it's quite clear when there is no other available means of transport, particularly for night shift workers, we are forced to use our cars. With 2 cars we pay £240 a year just to park outside our own houses"…….P.S.
"All the previous Mayors have done is to make London's roads more dangerous, create extra congestion and therefore extra pollution with their spiteful anti-motorist policies. First we have Livingstone with his fiddling around with the traffic light phasing and his ridiculous bendy buses; then we had BJ with the equally ridiculous cycle lanes. Now we have Khan determined to finish the job started by the two other cretins by cashing in on a deliberately gridlocked over polluted capital city. Stationary traffic causes pollution, the various Mayors and TfL have caused the stationary traffic."….D.W.
"As a handicapped driver I depend on my car and already have had problems with parking. Any extension of parking restrictions directly affects my life". ….R.V.
"I object to all the proposals to tax or discourage car use in the Mayor's Transport Strategy, particularly the idea of extending the Congestion Charge. It is just a money grabbing ploy and will do nothing to achieve its proposed aim". …B.K.
"Why are the penalties always monetary, so that it's the least well off who suffer the most? For example, the permit parking system mostly affects people who can't afford larger properties on which they can use off-road parking."… C.C.
"A constant theme is penalising honest, caring citizens who have little choice but to drive in London. Not everyone can cycle or use public transport for every journey. The TfL Congestion Charge has been one of the biggest cons committed by local government anywhere and should not be extended. Obviously, it doesn't work because we still have congested roads in central London, despite routine increases in the charge. The answer to "congestion" is to make better use of the finite resources of available space. Anyone who has witnessed the effect of the absurd "cycle superhighways" on pedestrians, bus users, taxi services and motorists in the capital can see that a majority of the travelling public now sit or stand stationary far longer than before."…..J.B.
I'm particularly disgusted by hints that station parking and drop-off may be reduced. This is petty, discriminatory, self-defeating, and incredibly damaging to people's quality of life. It can only force people off public transport."….P.S.
"Not everyone can or wants to ride bikes on public highways in all weathers. Our business relies on getting products and installers around London to carry out our work. We employ over 60 staff who use all forms of transport depending on their commute to get into work. Some of those will struggle if they have to pay a congestion charge and will probably have to leave our employment"….V.M.
"I live in Chelsea and use my car for travelling out of London and I use London transport around town. The idea I could be targeted for just owning a car is appalling and it is a quite disgraceful change of stance from Mayor Khan after he was elected with promises to maintain the congestion charge at current levels. I find this move is dishonest."….K.O.
"I strongly oppose ALL of these measures. Living in outer London I need to use my car often as public transport takes too long if it necessitates two buses, meaning I would not be able to visit family, go to the park to exercise, etc, and I would be stuck in my flat, seeing nobody for days at a time (I am 74 and widowed). If possible I do use buses or trains but cannot afford an increase in road tax/parking charge"…T.B.
"I object to all the proposals to tax or discourage car use in the Mayor's Transport Strategy, particularly the idea of extending the Congestion Charge. I have a severely disabled 6 year old daughter and drive a wheelchair accessible vehicle which I heavily rely on for hospital appointments and transporting my daughter to school. We could not function as a family without it."….S.D.
"I am appalled to read your pamphlet on what the Mayor of London is proposing. Yes, I am a driver but only on local roads. I have limited mobility and have a blue badge which is of enormous help to me. I do have a bus pass which I cannot use as I would not be able to balance correctly once the bus moves off so I use my car. Drivers pay enough in road tax and congestion charges already without being told to pay more."…..M.M.
"My objection is to the whole idea of taking even more money from the long- suffering motorist. I also have a personal objection. My wife and I are in our mid-eighties, and my wife is also disabled. As pensioners, we are not on a huge income. My wife is unable to get on or off buses, and train journeys are far from easy or comfortable for us. The car is our life-line, and punitive regulation and legislation pose an ever increasing threat to our way of life in our last years"….. J.B.
“I operate a small fleet of minibuses. I personally have witnessed the 'notorious work' of TfL in bringing roads in the area to a near standstill since the organisation began managing the roads. The misuse of tax payers money for their dogmatic ill thought out road infrastructure schemes, 'so called traffic management' in the area, is legendary (ask local people). The arrogance of the way they operate is shameful. If we wanted an organisation to waste tax payers money, mismanage the traffic in Greater London to the point of causing daily frustration and delays sometimes to gridlock, then we should be given the opportunity to vote for it or not (by that I refer to the organisation itself - TfL) and not have it imposed upon us, in a totalitarian regime like manner.”…P.Y.
“My comment is :- Has the Mayor ordered his straight jacket yet and is he booked into a secure Mental Unit for treatment? How will I take my two therapy dogs to visit hospitals, care home and schools as the bus companies do not allow me on buses, except at the drivers discretion? Has the idiot forgotten that his party was against congestion charges, now he wants to increase them what a hypocrite”….J.R.
“This is a clear example of misplaced action to raise money from cash strapped middle class. The rich with expensive cars will have no issues as they will still be able to afford all this and probably won't care. It's the middle class that will pay the price. The normal car owners are already footing the bill for those who can afford to buy expensive electric hybrid vehicles. These better off people get better parking, low road tax, free charging zone and what not. Instead of fixing the shambolic, congested, over priced and limited public transport they are hammering car users. They need to make the public transport so good and cost effective that people automatically start switching.”…..Y.C.
“I think the Mayor is trying to take away our freedom to travel. He does not seem to have any common sense.”…R.S.
“The 24/7 nature of the ULEZ change will penalise those who are least able to trade in their current vehicles (particularly those diesels that politicians encouraged us to buy to reduce CO2 emissions) to buy newer, compliant vehicles. While reducing peak hour emissions is laudable, the blanket approach seems draconian and inappropriate. I hope that the Mayor of London will consider all the implications to the community and introduce changes that don't penalise honest, law abiding residents.”….R.B.
“Sadiq Khan’s policies for London are bad. His transport strategy is one of the worst in the world. He should be fired and replaced with someone who cares about all the people of London, not just his chosen minorities.”….T.B.
“I write this email to express my support for your campaign to prevent these ludicrous changes from becoming effective. As a mobility driver, I'm afraid public transport is simply not an option for me as it is structured today. I am reliant on my vehicle for work and socialising and I must find suitable parking spaces. These plans seem like they will remove more parking spaces for people like myself. I have friends who I like to visit and I'm able to do so if I can drive to see them and conveniently park.”…..G.M.
“The Mayor does not realise how people try to live today especially the elderly and those who try to live a reasonable life being disabled or who have difficulty in moving. I still have a blue badge and thankful for it. Leave our cars alone and maybe try to live a disabled person's life for a week, instead of jaunting to India for WHAT?.”…..S.W.
“I am 68 years old, I worked and paid tax and insurance all my life. I now have heart failure, asthma and spinal stenosis. My disabilities make it extremely difficult to walk to the station or to a bus stop. I entirely rely on my car. It will be so cruel to have further restriction on my mobility.
Old people with multiple chronic illnesses and mobility problems are already at high risk for depression and can do with no further top up.”….N.C.
“I am strongly opposed to the Mayor's transport strategy for the following reasons: 1) In order to improve air quality and consequently our health, we had the congestion charge imposed on us (and subsequently increased by Sadiq Khan). With the stroke of a pen, 40,000 Uber drivers were given a license to operate in central London, adding massively to traffic congestion and air pollution. This is outrageous, and if Sadiq Khan was in the least bit interested in air quality, he would be doing everything in his power to prevent Uber from operating. Please ask him why he isn't doing anything; 2) Plumbers, electricians, gas engineers etc. are all needed by businesses in central London - ladders and heavy equipment cannot be carried on public transport. The congestion charge and lack of parking are really hitting these essential workers very hard; 3) Sadiq Khan is also planning to extend the low emissions zone out as far as my own area (Haringey). I am disabled and my car is my lifeline to the outside world. However, it is a very old vehicle and I cannot afford to replace it with a newer version. I will no doubt be charged to use it; 4) It seems fairly obvious to me that Sadiq Khan is only interested in revenue, and has no concern for the general public whatsoever. I am tired of his grandstanding.”….M.H.