Thursday 4 March 2004 5.21pm
I don't deny that there are more buses. But:
1. Congestion charging is still running at a loss of many millions which we as taxpayers are having to subsidise.
2. The mayor has arranged for more buses to run. However as the congestion charge is running at a loss, rather than the anticipated profit, this is extra cost that we as taxpayers are having to subsidise. He didn't need to introduce his charge to achieve this! Given '1' above, more buses is completely independent of the charge. They shouldn't be confused! There is no more money to pay for buses and roads as a result of the CC.
3. Perhaps the West End was suffering as a result of Bluewater & other delightful resorts - I defer to your greater knowledge on this. However the West End is a major attraction to tourists, and therefore an important part of the UK's tourist income. Take that away, and the nation becomes poorer. The congestion charge has caused direct suffering to trade in the West End - just because it is (you say) already suffering does not mean that we should make it worse.
4. That a street off Tower Bridge Road
in SE1 has become quieter is a large price to pay for the potential to turn the West End of London into a wilderness, IMHO.
5. He. Well yes, it is Ken Livingstone's idea. Who else do you think has come up with it? What other body other than Mayor of London do you think is the driving force. So far as I am aware, Red Ken is male, so I am not quite certain what point you are making.
6. We taxpayers. Well, I pay tax, as do probably all of the readers of this site. (Do you buy good with VAT on them? Then you are a taxpayer.) The losses from the CC and through bus over-subsidy have to be made up somehow, therefore taxpayers suffer.
[edited at suggestion to remove errant incomprehensible em]
Post edited (05 Mar 04 10:08)
Cider maker, cidermaker or cider-maker?