Sadiq Khan ‘is a Zone 1 Mayor’ says Conservative MP
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He has called for the congestion charge to be scrapped at weekends and ditch the extended hours put into place last summer. He said the only way to bring people back to the capital after the pandemic was to “try something” new such as offering free journeys on public transport services.
Speaking on BBC’s Politics London show, Bob Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East said Mr Khan was a “Zone 1 Mayor” who needed to act fast.
The comments came as the BBC asked how it would be possible to get tourists back into London.
Mr Blackman said: “Sadiq Khan is clearly a Zone 1 Mayor.
“What he’s gotta do is remove the congestion charge at weekends and also extended hours during the week.
“And then try something like offering free ridership on buses and tubes on say a Saturday to encourage people from Outer London to come into the centre of London.
“Obviously, TFL depends on the income it gets from fares.
“But the issue here is more than 50 percent of Londoners don’t feel confident on travelling on London Transport.
“Unless we get people back on London transport people won’t be visiting the city centre and make sure they use the hospitality.”
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Shockingly, Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh agreed with the attack on the Labour Mayor.
She said: “I don’t know if I have time to come in there but I completely agree.
“Perhaps he might help Sadiq in his representations to the Department for Transport to help him out with TfL and the funding crisis that is there.”
Despite concern from many over the lack of visitors to London, Sadiq Khan is set to press ahead with expanding the current ULEZ.
The Mayor said he now has an “overwhelming mandate” to press ahead with many of his green initiatives such as the new ULEZ which will launch from October.
The scheme will extend the current £12.50 ULEZ charge across the rest of the capital with all roads outside the North and South Circular affected.
The extension is set to bring the charge to an extra 140,000 residents in London.
The Mayor is also weighing up the introduction of a further £3.50 daily charge for Outer London boroughs.
Mr Khan has threatened to introduce the scheme if he does not get access to the money generated by Londoners Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) payments.
Mr Khan won re-election in May’s local elections, beating Conservative rival Shaun Bailey by more than 10 percent of the vote share.
Meanwhile, Mr Bailey had campaigned against any future ULEZ expansion.
He also pushed for the Congestion Charge increases to be reversed to make London “more affordable for every resident”.
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