Boris bins c-charge extension

"Nihilists! F#@k me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."
- Walter Sobchack

In a move that will surprise no-one, Boris has announced he will scrap the western extension to the congestion charge from spring 2010. The NIMBY's NIMBY, he has once again proven himself to be very adept at not doing things.

If only we hadn't spent so long this morning sourcing quotes from the Big Lebowksi we would have some time to write about this topic. But we're sure some will have strong feelings about it nonetheless...

36 comments:

Headhunter said...

The so called cycling Mayor strikes again. Basically he's a puppet of the car driving wealthy west Londoners.

Anonymous said...

I'm taking time off work in 2012 to campaign to get this ***** out of office. London is just going backwards in his hands. I'm still reeling from the Thames Gateway bridge decision..

drakefell debaser said...

Both local businesses and residents did not want this extension to go through. They have been given the chance to influence the decision and what they wanted has been granted. Democracy. I take its Kens approach to just enforce his ways on people is better then?

Hard hat at the ready.

Anonymous said...

Both local businesses and residents did not want ...Portland's Bookmakers to ...

At least he listened said...

DD,I really agree. There was a consultation that was ignored because it didn't fit into Ken's plans. People did not want the extension who live in London. It's time to think up a different scheme to both generate revenue and ease congestion.

Headhunter said...

Yeah but I'm sure if you polled all the drivers trolling through central London if they'd prefer to pay the CC or not, they would choose the latter. It's not just about convenience for people in W London being able to pop out to Tecso for a loaf of bread and a pint of milk in their car, but bigger picture, getting people out of cars for wasteful short journeys and onto other means of transport. I'm not saying it's possible to eliminate motor traffic in London, but at least Ken attempted to get people away from their addiction to cars. Listening to people with a vested interest is not always the best way forward.

Headhunter said...

At least he listened - What other scheme are you suggesting?

Anonymous said...

Ken took a tough decision, showed leadership it made him look like a dictator so he paid at the electoral ballot. Fine

However this decision isn't a good one for London, the public coffers will lose much needed revenue and for what, the extension was already there people were living with it, a bit longer and they would have got used to it, found alternate ways to get around town.

"Mr Johnson said the figure of £70 million generated from the western extension charge had been greatly exaggerated and that the lost revenue could easily be found from TfL's
£8.2 billion budget." Oh really well we'll see about that

Anonymous said...

Surely having the c-charge is NIMBY... this lets people back into the back yard, rather than charging them to drive through it.

Still, Headhunter will be pleased as he tucks into his artisan bap.

Headhunter said...

Exactly. Personally I would prefer revenue for the Mayor's office to be generated by some fat banker in his Porsche driving through Notting Hill than lumped onto people's council tax in Lewisham for example. The CC serves 2 purposes - generates income and helps discourage wasteful journeys in congested, polluted areas.

Headhunter said...

....Despite the fact that I probably got the banker his job in the 1st place. However he can afford to cough up for driving to work...

Never enough artisan baps in the world, anon. You should swap your gritty, worker's badge of honour Sunblest/Mother's Pride white loaf sometime, give 'em a go...

Anonymous said...

Doesn't really discourage it though does it. As has been proven time and time again - anyone driving in central london, especially in the slow parts, is usually doing so for a reason. Carrying something heavy, need to turn up to a meeting not stinking of sweat and dirt, etc.

Personally I think the future lies in overground and underground motorways for central London.

I wonder if Headhunter has ever driven a car or eaten a bag of chips. What a joyless, finger-pointing existance it must be.

fred vest said...

"Despite the fact that I probably got the banker his job in the 1st place"

why did you create the conditions of his (and why is he a he?) labour or equip him with the skills required to carry it out?

Tressillian James said...

Don't get personal Anon -

I did see a report that showed small businesses had reported a substantial downturn in W-Lon since the C-charge. It's a different kettle of fish to central London (where many of the shoppers arrive by train or tube, and I think Ken really did impact the livlihood of ordinary people with this one.

patrick1971 said...

"Anyone driving in central london, especially in the slow parts, is usually doing so for a reason"

And that reason is laziness and the "I'm all right Jack" attitude that comes with owning a car.

Headhunter said...

It certainly made an instant difference when the CC was 1st introduced. I usde to live in islington and sometimes got the bus to work back then. Suddenly the roads were noticably quieter and the bus actually had to wait at certain stops for several minutes in order not to get to far ahead of the time table. Admittedly since then driving in central London has crept up, but is it really back to the same levels it would have been at without the CC?

As for people "Carrying something heavy, need[ing] to turn up to a meeting not stinking of sweat and dirt, etc.", I said that it would be impossible to eliminate motor traffic altogether, What I said was that it would be good to get rid of wasteful motoring, ie the single occupant commuter driving a large car 2-3 miles at peaks times at a crawl through central London, belching fumes.

"Personally I think the future lies in overground and underground motorways for central London." I believe if yuo build motorways like that, "they will come", ie traffic density and number will just increase to fill these wonderful new motorways, and the net result would be gridlock once again, but with thousands upon thousands of new cars.

Yes, I do drive, not frequently, but I do and I have even been known to eat chips, but only if they're organic. I'm not finger pointing, I'm suggesting that Boris's scrapping of the western extension is short sighted and pandering.

Fred - He, she, whatever, but to be honest most workers in the City are male and no, of course I did not provide him/her with the skills for his/her job. However I am a headhunter in the City, so I have placed several overpaid bankers in cushy offices at international banks in my time.

Anonymous said...

Who does organic chips? fishy business? are they fair trade?

Headhunter said...

I only eat organic, fair trade food made by well fed maidens in 3rd world countries with approved political regimes. I go to the gym 3 times a week, I cycle to work and back and run regularly. My body is a temple.

Anonymous said...

You didn't specify vegan. Get out, you murdering scum.

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

anon @15.39

You clearly didn't read my post yesterday on the Gateway Bridge thread

BrockleyBiker said...

Very unsurprising news. It's still a shame though. At the least the main CC area isn't under threat. And it's good that other parts of the country are following suit with their own versions.

Not proper Brockley said...

I was brought up to believe that if you live in London you don't need to drive. I am all for charging the car driving swines as much as possible for their disgusting habit.

There is great public transport in this city and a good 90% of the population have working legs. There's no excuse for bastards to be sitting alone in their cars dawdling up the place.

If you really want to use motorised transport for a single person journey get a scooter. They're CC exempt (or were when I used to ride), the fuel economy is amazing and they are cheap to run and insure.

Double up on bus lanes and get me more bendy buses to fill them.

Headhunter said...

God you sound even more militant about this than me...!

Anonymous said...

You don't "need" to do a lot of things. How many people here smoke?

drakefell debaser said...

There is great public transport in this city and a good 90% of the population have working legs.

'Great' is an exaggeration, it barely copes and does not cover the entire city adequately. Sort this out and make public transport cheap and reliable (less of the 11% fare increases for example) and then people will probably switch.


Until then 'their disgusting habit' as you refer will remain.

Headhunter said...

It will remain, but it needn't. Pedal cycles are a real option for many, espcially with the new government scheme which slashes the price of new bikes. if not, mopeds are much less polluting.

Single commuters really do not need to drive a car a matter of a couple of miles to central London if they are fit and healthy. Equally people popping out for a smal amount of shopping or to see a friend round the corner or whatever it may be.

Interesting that anon 11:21 compares driving to smoking, look how smoking is now viewed! A matter of a couple of decades ago it was tolerated in most social situations/bars/pubs etc. Now itt really is seen as a nasty habit and smokers have now been relegated to huddling outside pubs in the cold and wet.

Something similar needs to be done about needless driving, I for one dislike breathing air dominated by combusted 4* and diesel when I'm in central London.

Anonymous said...

4 star? When did you last drive, during Maggie Thatcher's government?

Out of interest, what's the new govt scheme for cheap bikes?

(the anon who likes driving but has had dalliances with biking in the past)

Headhunter said...

OK, OK, I don't drive v often. I practice what I preach!

The "bike to work" scheme was set up by the government a few years ago (do a net search on "bike to work"). Your employer has to sign up to the scheme, there is some paperwork involved, but they can sign up to a specific retailers scheme (Halford, Decathlon, Wiggle etc) which then ties employees to that partic retailer, but the retailer will sort out the paperwork. Or the employer can sign up through a scheme organiser like "Cyclescheme" which mostly works with small, local bike retailers and once again, will sort out the paperwork.

The scheme basically works around salary sacrifice, a bit like some pension schemes or government childcare systems. Your employer buys the bike, you then pay the money back over 12-18 months. Because the scheme is salary sacrifice you do not pay PAYE, NI and your employer saves money by not paying employer NI contributions on that part of your salary. You also don't pay VAT. If you are a higher rate taxpayer, savings can be as much as 50%, if not, more like 40%.

All in all it's a great scheme, you can jack in your zone 2 travelcard and pay less per month, direct from your salary for a bike. The scheme even incorporates the extras like helmet, hi viz clothing, lights, mudguards or whatever else you may need. Usually it's up to £1000.

my employer has just signed up to Cycle Scheme so I'll be getting a new bike to add to my fleet...

lb said...

4* petrol! Anyone remember 2*, or even, God forbid, 3*? That stuff went out with spacehoppers and white dog droppings.

I remember my dad filling the car with 3* petrol. Yes, we had one of those strange cars with a hairdryer for an engine.

13:.24 said...

Thing is Headhunter, we don't all have jobs in the city whose enlightened employers provide the cycle2work scheme, and (I'm making an assumption here) facilities for locking your bike.

In my experience, cycling up to the West End or the city (to buy something/see a film/go boozing), involves spending an age finding something solid to chain your bike to. Usually I have to shoehorn my bike in with five others and risk scratching paint on all the frames. This is, of course, after I've spent ten minutes removing anything worth over a fiver to some scrote who'll attempt to half-inch it in an attempt to flog it at Brick Lane, or stick it on GumTree. (Great fun doing your shopping and carrying around a saddle and seatpost, and various bits of small metalwork which are essential to the bike's forward motion)

If I think that I'll have to leave my 100 quid hack bike for more than an hour in a public space, I'll use another form of transport (and I'm not good at enduring the personal habits of the great unwashed on buses - though the therapy's helping). Can't be doing with the constant anxiety of theft. God knows what it would be like if I had to leave a Look or Litespeed lying around

Anonymous said...

If I ever spread a pedestrian all over the road I really hope it is you Not Proper Brockley.

Not proper Brockley said...

And if I ever get hit by a twat in a chelsea tractor I hope it yours 'Anonymous' - i'll see you in court

Not proper Brockley said...

Sadly though, Anonymous (if that is your real name), when you eventually run over and kill someone due to you being drunk or coked off your head in a car too powerful for you to properly control - (one can only speculate as to why you would [as you obviously do] drive a car which is much more powerful and spacious than your demands require; I suspect probably as a metaphorical replacement for a physical limitation, be that a small penis or hideously ugly face) - it will probably be an innocent school child whose mother has not properly briefed them on the delicacies of the green cross code.

I, however, have been well versed in road crossing etiquette so am unlikely to fall victim to an arsehole such as yourself. If you "spread a pedestrian all over the road", as you so delightfully put it, I hope you are proud of the fact that you have taken a life that would have been far more useful to humanity than your essentially wasted effort. A life which could have been spared had you walked home from work instead of driven your lazy, bloated, Brockleyite arse across town. Prick.

I hope the use of parenthesis is the first paragraph does not render this post incomprehensible to you.

BrockleyBiker said...

Not Proper Brockley how can you seriously take such a blinkered, narrow minded, anti-car position?

Yes there are too many cars on the road. Yes more people need to be encouraged onto public transport. But at the same time when you have some of the longest working hours in Europe a car can offer unrivalled conveniance, especially for families who have to large amounts of food shopping.

So long as public transport risks increasing your journey time by double or even treble, then people will resort to cars.

Writing off large swathes of people as "swines" for having the supposed audacity to avail themselves of a conveniant form of transport is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

...and pay hand-over-fist for the priviledge

Headhunter said...

13:24 - It took me a few months of constant badgering to get my employers to finally sign up to bike to work! You have to work at it, they really ain't that enlightened...

I've currently got 3 bikes, one of which is probably worth about £50 which I commute on. It's all battered and covered in crap from the road, but it's relatively light. It was made up from old bits from other bikes and until recently I've had it locked out on the sheffield bike stands in rain, snow and sun but recently found a secret spot in the basement of my work building to stash it so now it's indoors.

Anyway, in more than 2 years of cycling in, out and around London, the only thing I've had nicked are my bike lights, which I stoopidly removed from the bike when it was parked outside the gym, then forgot to actually put them in my bag, so they were just lying on the pavement, ripe for the picking. To date, no one has ever removed anything from my bike or tried to nick it...

Got a bloody puncture this morning so had to squat in New Cross repairing it as I had forgot to bring a tube. Rainy weather always seems to kick a load of crap up on the roads and I always end up puncturing.

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