London mayor Sadiq Khan is exploring a £3.50 “entry charge” on people driving into the crime-plagued British capital, a move which could hammer tradesmen, key workers, and others as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns is already biting.
The Labour politician has instructed Transport for London officials to explore the “feasibility” of levying a charge on motorists crossing the Greater London boundary, which would come in top of the notorious congestion charge which covers the city centre.
The capital’s transport network has run into substantial difficulties under Mayor Khan’s stewardship, compounded by a sharp fall in revenue from the London Underground, or Tube, amid the coronavirus pandemic — despite the mayor having told people to continue using the packed mass transit system as normal during its initial stages.
“If [government] ministers aren’t prepared to play fair, then we will need to consider other options to address this unfairness, such as asking people who live outside London and make journeys into Greater London by car to pay a modest charge, which would be reinvested in London’s transport network,” said Khan in comments reported by the Telegraph, attempting to shift the blame for the situation to the Tory-led national government — despite receiving a massive bailout from it.
Khan's London: Alleged Robbers, Age 15, on Trial for Stabbing Policewoman in Stomach https://t.co/HVU2hSFzQx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 15, 2020
Critics of the “entry charge” plan say it amounts to a “surcharge on workers”, however, punishing people — including key workers — who cannot afford to live in London proper and may already be struggling with the coronavirus and lockdown related economic slump.
“Many of the vehicles that cross the London boundary are essential service vehicles such as plumbers and electricians, or vehicles of key workers and shift workers who can’t afford to live in the capital,” noted Edmund King, the president of the Automobile Association (AA).
“Such a charge would basically be a surcharge on workers. Few people just drive into London for fun as most have a job to do,” he observed, warning Mayor Khan that the policy could “backfire” on him.
Khan’s London: Two Men Stabbed to Death, Woman Gunned Down Despite Lockdown https://t.co/yQ7pFLh0a8
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 23, 2020
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