Boris Plans To Collar C-Charge

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 132 months ago
Boris Plans To Collar C-Charge

A quick poll amongst the people milling beneath the Londonist penthouse reveals that, while mayoral candidate Boris Johnson may have the jet-pack of publicity strapped to his back, folk are less sure about his policies.

The Henley MP is trying to rectify that. In addition to his Back Boris website, and promise to resurrect the Routemaster, Boris is now bringing out the big guns, with a vow to scrap the western congestion charge zone.

Less than a year old, the extension covers most of Kensington and Westminster - areas you might think home to people who could reasonably afford the £8. Yet a vote-sniffing Johnson has clearly gambled that the gross unpopularity of the zone could endear him to the Mahiki and yummy-mummy crowd.

In an interview with BBC London, Boris deployed facts like a chess grandmaster on an aggressive gambit, describing the charge as "punitive" and claiming it had delivered a 15% increase in traffic. He talked of plans to reduce the fine to around £40, and allow drivers five days to pay the fare.

Boris also outlined a few other tidbits, tubthumping about his ace-in-the-hole, namely the retirement of the bendy bus, and a novel plan to issue police with "hand-held scanners" to detect knives and other offensive weapons, thus sparing the inconvenience of a strip-search. He didn't suggest whether this is a feasible technology or a flashback from a half-remembered episode of Blake's Seven, but still, it's the idea that counts.

Camera cluster pic from jeroen020's Flickrstream

Last Updated 15 January 2008