Sadiq Khan slammed for ‘taking Londoners for fools’

Sadiq Khan claims some opposing ULEZ are ‘far right’

Sadiq Khan has been slammed for “taking Londoners for fools” after the Mayor of London appeared to scrap yet another policy without consultation. Earlier this week, Mr Khan revealed that he has “got rid of” London’s daily travel cards, despite previously saying there would be a consultation over the issue. Speaking to MyLondon, he said: “We’re keeping the weekly and limited travel cards, but unfortunately, because of Government conditions, we’ve got rid of the daily travel cards.”

Previously, Mr Khan has always said the London assembly is “consulting” on the issue.

His latest remarks appear to confirm that he has decided to scrap the daily travel card.

Reacting to the news, Nick Rogers AM, City Hall Conservatives transport spokesperson acccused Mr Khan of running a “phoney consultation”.

He told the Daily Express: “Sadiq Khan has once again taken Londoners for fools, running a phoney consultation when he has already decided the outcome.

“He is already facing the High Court for his improper consultation on ULEZ and an investigation by the GLA monitoring officer for the cover up.

“The Mayor is hitting lower income Londoners to raise money for TfL, and should stop misleading Londoners into thinking his consultations are anything more than a sham.”

Earlier this week, Transport for London said it is “engaging with key stakeholders to develop our (TfL’s) impact assessment on the potential change.”

If withdrawn, customers travelling in a single day would have to use pay as you go using contactless or Oyster, or buy paper single/return tickets to travel on TfL services.

Mr Khan said: “The Government has said to TfL […] because of the pandemic, you have to make cuts of £600 million and raise revenues of £500 million.

“The Government required us to remove the travel cards.

“We’re keeping the weekly and limited travel cards, but unfortunately, because of Government conditions, we’ve got rid of the daily travel cards.

“And those Conservatives crying crocodile tears need to realise the responsibility and blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the Government.”

Mr Khan has faced growing backlash in recent months for his plans to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London, with the Mayor facing a High Court challenge over the plans.

It is understood a judge accepted a request from five Tory councils – Harrow, Hillingdon, Bromley, Bexley and Surrey county council – for a judicial review of the mayor’s plans.

The hearing, taking place in July, will effectively decide whether Mr Khan acted legally or illegally in giving the go-ahead for the scheme’s expansion. The £12.50 ULEZ charge applies to vehicles that do not meet up-to-date emissions standards and currently covers inner London.

Howard Cox from FairFuel accused the Mayor of “cash-grabbing”, saying that the plans are “not only contemptible but now maybe seen to be unlawful”.

He called for an independent public inquiry into what he dubbed “immoral behaviour”.

Mr Cox claimed Mr Khan made “false and dishonest” statements to the London Assembly and “manipulated ULEZ results.”

But a spokesperson for the Mayor described the legal battle as “costly and misguided”.

Responding to the claims about the daily travelcard, a spokesperson for the Mayor of London told the Daily Express: “As required by conditions of the Government’s emergency funding deal during the pandemic, Transport for London has been forced to explore a proposal to end day Travelcards for use on the TfL network. This type of change does not require a consultation, but TfL is in the process of seeking information on potential impacts and possible mitigations. The Mayor has not yet made a decision on the way forward, and will do so based on TfL’s advice when he receives it.

“The Mayor has done everything in his power to offset the negative consequences of the funding deal. This includes providing extra funding from City Hall to prevent bus cuts and to ensure weekly and longer-term Travelcards are not impacted. If the Government were able to provide funding for it, TfL would be able to drop these proposals immediately. There are also no proposals to make any changes to the daily pay as you go caps on contactless or Oyster cards.

“The Mayor will continue to lobby the Government for the national investment London needs so that we can continue delivering a world-class transport network– something that is so crucial to building a greener, fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.”

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