Mayor Defends Transport Strategy But Not Boris Island

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 106 months ago
Mayor Defends Transport Strategy But Not Boris Island

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Image of a maligned bendy by steve_w from the Londonist Flickr pool
Boris Johnson spent time defending his transport strategy at the London Assembly Transport Committee yesterday. Despite the reduction in bus services (due to an expected 1-3% fall in passenger numbers because of, er, fare rises), he said he'd already resisted a cabinet minister who wanted to see fewer buses on London's streets. (Sadly, he wouldn't name the bus-refusenik.)

The Mayor also fears a backlash from motorists over his plan to increase cycling fourfold from 2000 levels.

"There will come a time when the motorists say it's really all too much of a good thing and they don't want to see so many bikes, they wish people would get back in their cars, and I [will] have to say that is the right way to go."

We suspect the hike in the congestion charge will probably do more to bring pitchfork-carrying car owners to Boris's door.

And what of the fabled Boris Island, the airport in the middle of the Thames Estuary? The Mayor was so excited about this a few months ago he went out on a dredger to inspect the possible site, but there was no mention of it in the strategy. Doug Oakervee's feasibility report, published this week, found no major barriers to construction. Given his previous enthusiasm, we rather expected to see Boris spilling over with Latin and classical references, but instead he's convened another committee and told the Transport Committee he does

"not have an aspiration to construct such an airport"

Really? Interesting. Even though Middle Eastern money is apparently at the ready, could the lack of support for the project finally be getting to him?

Last Updated 21 October 2009