We need Shaun Bailey, not Sadiq Khan! – Conservative Article
Sadiq Khan is destroying Transport for London. The London Mayor is causing absolute chaos in a time of uncertainty. With Sadiq, London stands no chance.
In June congestion charge prices were increased to £15 a day between 7 am to 10 pm, seven days a week. This increase couldn’t have come at a worse time. Now don’t get me wrong, the congestion charge has been extremely useful in limiting emissions throughout London. It is essential that we think of ways to protect the environment, regardless of what is going on in the world.
But what Sadiq seems to be forgetting is that coronavirus kills! Congestion charges will force more people to use the tube when commuting to London. Anybody who has been on the London tube during rush hour knows that it is impossible to socially distance. People are quite frankly packed into each carriage like sardines, making it a coronavirus hotspot. Surely commuters should be encouraged to not take the tube into work!
As well as the risk of a second wave in London, the Mayor seems to have very little regard for an economic recovery post-Covid. By increasing the congestion charge, shoppers and diners are going to be deterred from spending time in the city. Now seems like the perfect time to lower the charge and encourage people to support the retail and food industries!
Sadiq Khan insists that the rise in congestion charge isn’t his fault. However, Sadiq has a repeated history of deflecting the blame. He took zero responsibility for the increase in crime in London in 2018 and he is unsurprisingly doing exactly the same thing now. When asked who set the extended pricing and hours he stated ‘It’s TFL, it’s us.’
Surely this is because Sadiq cares about the environment? Not true.
Take the Electric taxi schemes, a recent addition to London’s attempt at a greener form of travel. Sadiq, however, is not allowing electric cab drivers to access charging points at bus stations. The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) revealed a hub of chargers near Waterloo, however, the Mayor has limited access to just single-deck buses. How can we have a Mayor that is this inefficient?
We must address how Sadiq’s congestion charge is impacting the BAME community and low-income families as well. On top of charging essential workers and spenders for driving into the city, the Mayor will be charging minicab drivers too! 94% of minicab drivers are from BAME communities, whilst 88% of black cab taxi drivers are white. Hardworking people from BAME communities are having to pay £15 a day whilst their predominantly white black cab counterparts do not have to pay a penny. This charge perpetrates discrimination.
Sadiq and the TfL have worsened this inequality by recently axing free travel for under-18’s in London. This is devastating. Before Covid, London children made 1.5 million bus journeys and 200,000 tube journeys a day. Once again, Sadiq insists that ‘this is not the deal [he] wanted.’ How many more times can Sadiq cry wolf? The TfL budgets are fundamentally his responsibility as the Mayor of London.
Shaun Bailey is our only solution. The ex youth worker and current London Assembly member cares about both the environment and the economy. Bailey has pledged to make every red bus in London electric by the end of his first term if he becomes London Mayor. Electric busses could reduce emissions by up to 95%. This is a much more efficient solution to fixing the environment. On top of that, Bailey has tweeted that he intends to reverse Sadiq’s congestion charge. This reduction will not only give London a chance to thrive post-Covid but puts an end to the discrimination against BAME drivers.
I am not saying that the government has no culpability in these issues. But I do believe that the London Mayor has contributed largely to this mess. Sadiq Khan is creating problems. Shaun Bailey has the solutions. London deserves better.
Written by Guest Conservative Writer, Rebecca Selt
Point of Information
Sadiq Khan has failures with TfL, but Shaun Bailey is no better- a Liberal Response
The rise in congestion charge during a pandemic is counterproductive and thoughtless, but this should not be the focus of Sadiq Khan’s failings with TFL.
The biggest travesty is the removal of free under 18s travel on buses. This will have a severe impact on youth and lower-income groups in London. It will also place an unnecessary financial burden on families who are already bracing for the deepest recession in British history.
Free travel offers young people a lifeline. It is an essential tool for their social and educational development. 45% of 11-15 (and 27% of 16+) use the bus as their primary mode of transport to school. The effect of adding a price tag to school will only further the chasm of educational attainment and the social mobility of lower-income households.
Sadiq Khan has decimated the future of young Londoners by pricing them out of the city they live in and restricting the freedom to experience the city for themselves. However, claiming Shaun Bailey will fix the problem is ignorant. Bailey wants to scrap the hopper bus fare and raise the age of the freedom pass to 75.
The congestion charge price hike is a minor issue compared with the insidious removal of free travel for young people that we will feel the effects on for years to come.
Written by Guest writer, Lucy Severn
Shaun Bailey makes hollow promises – a Labour response
I find Rebecca’s article riddled with misleading inaccuracies. Sadiq Khan has had to protect commuting Londoners from the dual threats of toxic pollution and a global pandemic. However, with a government that refuses to even fund day to day transport services, the mayor has his hands tied.
In order to reduce pollution, numbers of polluting vehicles must be reduced. It is as simple as that. Backsliding is inconceivable during a time of crisis, and the climate is truly in crisis; you only have to look at the dreadful scenes in California to grasp the scale of the problem.
Shaun Bailey sees the state our planet is in and responds by promising to reduce the congestion charge.
Not only that, but he seems to be trying to one-up Khan’s practical revolution of London busses, claiming to be able to achieve Khan’s target in less than half the time. His promises are baseless and utterly empty. Bailey is peddling a dangerous fantasy.
Making all busses electric by 2025 is simply infeasible. Any attempt to do so would bankrupt the TFL to the tune of billions of pounds. All this during the worst recession in living memory.
This hare-brained scheme would also only reduce London emissions by 20%, not the fantastical 95% that Rebecca has seemingly pulled from nowhere.
Sadiq Khan has made his target 2037, as, unlike Shaun Bailey, he has had the grim experience of negotiating TFL funding with the government, and knows all too well the pitiful amount of money he has to work with.
Boris Johnson’s administration wants to jack up fare prices, offload hundreds of millions worth of debt onto TFL, and blame it all on a Labour mayor. Yes, the halting of the free travel scheme for under-18s is devastating, but the blame lies squarely at the door of number ten.
In terms of the minicab conundrum, the fact is that we are in a global climate crisis, and harsh measures must be taken. Numbers of black cab drivers have remained at a steady 20,000 or so for the last decade, whereas private-hire vehicles have nearly doubled from 55,000 to 113,000 over the same time period.
Sadiq Khan has no choice but to combat this dangerous rise in polluting vehicles that his predecessors have done little to stop. He does so for the sake of the city’s health. Unlike Bailey, Khan has a firm grasp of the measures needed to guide London through these crises.
Written by Senior Labour Writer, Max Ingleby
I am a third year student studying English and Film Studies at the University of Exeter. After completing my degree, I will be converting to law to begin my journey of becoming a commercial lawyer. As an avid reader of the Financial Times, I have begun to understand how important the commercial market is in forming global politics.
A late bloomer when it comes to politics and current affairs, I first dipped my toes in the political pool at the tender age of sixteen with a bracing submersion into the AS politics syllabus, and I have been hooked ever since.