In 2016 Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London on a bland manifesto pledging to tackle congestion through harmless-sounding measures like encouraging car clubs and managing road works. He even claimed to be ‘A Mayor for all Londoners’.


He would not have got elected if it had come out with aggressive anti-motorist proposals like those in his draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy.





Mayor Khan promises platitudes such as London being ‘a better place for all’. Public transport users are to be treated to a ‘customer service’ approach. However, despite lip service to “equality issues”, car users are considered as towards the bottom of the heap in the ‘hierarchy of road users’ operated by Transport For London (TFL).  Some animals are clearly more equal than others.


The “opportunity to reduce car use” will use various flimsy excuses. There will be measures to reallocate road space away from motorists but of course “this is not about being anti-car”.


Khan promotes one-off, trial and even regular street closures including for activities such as play This can actually set a dangerous precedent for children to play in the street, as well as depriving motorists of the use of streets they’ve paid to use. 


It is distorting the truth to claim that ‘streets can be planned for people, rather than cars’. Cars do not typically drive themselves, they are used by people to go about their everyday lives. They enable families to enjoy walking holidays, visits to relatives and friends, trips to work and recycling centres, collection of heavier goods and general shopping that benefits the local economy.


The cost of motoring and the condition of roads (etc) mean that in practice motorists will often only make a journey by car if it’s the ‘least worst’ option.  Who are the bureaucrats with their free travel perks to decide if someone else’s journey is or is not “essential”?  They are already looking eagerly at penalising journeys to work through a Workplace Parking Levy and staggering a ‘Khangestion Charge’ for the rush hour when many are going to or from work?




It is also disingenuous to talk up ‘Opportunity Areas’ - mandatory (i.e. compulsory) ‘car-free’ and ‘car-lite’ housing developments and similar schemes where people can ‘choose’ to walk and cycle, but in practice where a mean bureaucratic attitude denies them the choice of them (or their possible visitors) parking a car.


The suggestion of more car-free days in high streets, town centres and central London comes at a time when local authorities are moving away from the orchestrated gesture politics of ‘car-free days’. After Mary Portas’ review, the more enlightened are offering free or cheaper parking to safeguard high street shops and local businesses.


Oddly while promoting car clubs ("Scheme that facilitates vehicle sharing") in his Manifesto, Khan now has reservations about car-sharing, on the grounds that it might lead to more journeys! Perhaps the real objection is over enjoying personal car ownership?




Ironically while ‘demand management’ is being hyped, Khan seems to be welcoming and even encouraging large-scale population growth in London – even though it increases ‘demand’ - pressure on resources like road space.


At the same time the gratuitous removal of road space for political ends can add to difficulties on the ‘supply’ side. Some years ago, Trafalgar Square was pedestrianised as part of a meaningless ‘World Squares’ project. The surrounding area saw traffic tailbacks for miles despite assurances from TFL that all would be well. At King Street, Hammersmith. the former council’s removal of a road lane affected traffic around the Broadway, aggravating  a busy arterial route while roadworks created dangerous tailbacks on the eastbound A4. The wider pavements created served no real useful purpose but were hyped as ‘Street Smart’.


Although car journeys in London have gone down, so have road speeds. TFL have admitted that the removal of road space had played a part. That doesn’t stop Khan seeking to reduce speeds even further, with more crawling 20mph speed limits.


TFL believe congestion can be addressed by encouraging transport modes that allegedly make efficient use of road space, such as the bus (‘the most efficient’), cycling, and walking. This may only really be true when measured stationary.


The assumption of ‘efficiency’ is questionable, as it may ignore overall efficiency in terms of journey time, speed and cost effectiveness. Particularly on split and longer journeys, as, for instance buses do not always go where the traveller wants, and even if they do, it may not be by the directest route.


Scarce road space can be wasted (e.g. by under-used bus lanes, particularly 24 hour ones, causing traffic to bunch up in other lanes). Buses might slow down other traffic when stopping and even then have to wait up for minutes to ‘even out gaps in the service’.


The expansion of cycle superhighways has occurred for politicised reasons, even though it produced opposition because of its impact on ‘essential’ business travel.


Although Khan would like us to think that action is taken on ‘robust’ and ‘compelling’ evidence, his plans seem to have a blind spot on inconvenient evidence.






This is the second of four pages outlining the proposals. The first covers:


  • The threat of extending the Congestion Charge (road pricing) Londonwide, with boroughs charging motorists to use local roads
  • New ways of paying for road use, with a view to slashing car use
  • Taxation levels to discourage ownership of conventional vehicles
  • The desire to take over VED (‘road tax’) and set the level.


The third covers.


  • A ‘workplace parking levy’ – a tax on going to work
  • Higher parking charges for conventional vehicles
  • Reduction in the availability of private parking
  • Hints about reducing station parking and drop-off points.


Other proposals and our positive alternatives are covered on a fourth page.


The above pages provide information on how to simply object to the proposals.

Please object a.s.a.p. and get your friends to do the same.

The Mayor and his PC crew are counting on you doing nothing and just paying up!






References: MTS physical pages 17, 28, 30, 40, 43, 46, 52, 62, 70, 97, 102, 129  (/151)









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Justice for over-taxed motorists

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