Keith Prince AM: Charging people to drive into the capital would be a disaster
Sadiq Khan's proposal to charge non-Londoners £3.50 each day they drive into the capital would be deeply damaging to Havering and Redbridge. Only a Mayor who doesn't understand Outer London could suggest such a ludicrous plan to fix Transport for London's finances.
The Mayor's proposal would hammer struggling local businesses who rely on trade from people outside of Greater London. By penalising people for visiting places like Romford Market which brings people into Havering from far and wide, Khan's charge risks wrecking livelihoodswhen he should be helping to protect jobs.
To make matters worse, Khan's charge would create an invisible wall around Greater London. Many people from outside the capital drive into Havering and Redbridge to go to work, care for relatives, get medical help, and visit loved ones. As residents in Greater London, we may not be directly affected by Khan's bonkers fee, but our local businesses, family and community will be paying the price for it.
Instead of introducing a punitive charge to fix TfL's finances, the Mayor ought to cut the transport network's waste. Sadiq Khan could save millions of pounds by reforming TfL's pensions, reducing trade union facility time and scrapping unaffordable perks.
Sadiq Khan is wrong to claim Coronavirus is the sole reason for the transport network's financial woes. His mismanagement of TfL for the past four years cost our city billions of pounds in waste, bailouts and lost revenue. It's simply wrong and unfair for Khan to expect Londoners to pay the price for his terrible management of TfL.
To stop Khan's proposal, we need to elect Shaun Bailey as the next Conservative Mayor of London in May 2021. He has pledged to scrap this regressive tax on families and businesses on day one. We can't afford to let Khan introduce his disastrous boundary charge.
Article by Keith Prince AM first published in the Ilford Recorder.