Well whatever else his faults may be Ken does not have responsibilty for LU yet so he cannot really fix it. That said I was pleased to see that the plans for the tram link from Brixton to Camden seem to have gone through.
Congestion charging a con ?
If it reduces the amount of traffic and not a penny is spent on transport it will still have achieved one of its aims.
London Transport disgusting ?
Hmm maybe occaisionally but most of the time not so.
Mayor cabs it from Blackpool
By Patrick Sawer, Evening Standard
Ken Livingstone spent £260 on a cab ride from Blackpool to London during the TUC conference, it was revealed today.
The London Mayor hired the minicab to rush back in time for meetings of the Greater London Authority after hosting an evening reception at the Congress last month.
Mr Livingstone, who last year ran up a bill of nearly £2,000 in fares, was accompanied by up to four aides. His officials pointed out that the cost of the Premier Cabs journey from the Hilton Hotel amounted to far less than the combined rail fare for all of them.
A GLA spokeswoman said: "These were meetings he could not put off. In general he takes the Tube much more than he takes cabs."
so it was an economic thing ? This is why the Mayor can afford to dislike cars so much... he doesn't mind paying for taxis...
Isn't it funny that the Evening Standard, that most unbiased of rags, has had a drip drip drip of anti-Ken propaganda ever since he was elected?
Whether this story is true or not, I've seen him many times, either coming out of London Bridge tube, or walking along the river front from the tube to City Hall.
Incidentally, a walk-on peak-time rail fare from Blackpool to London would cost well over £100. Would it not be possible that Ken had other passengers in the mini-cab, making the cab fare pretty... well.. fair!
I rarely read the evening standard, so that may well be true. All I know, is that it is certainly true that his policies have backed up the aleged 'anti-car' feelings making their round. It is undoubtedly true that sharing the cab with no-one, would have made it worthwhile leaving Blackpool as quickly as possible, let alone a whole bunch of his transport-policy-making buddies. But then I would like to point out that when public transport becomes cheaper and more reliable (maybe I should mention 'safer' and 'cleaner') to my own forms of transport, I will certainly consider it as a serious alternative. In the meantime, I'll even endure the ridiculous slowdown in trafficspeeds accross London that he's responsible for.
I'll just pick up on one of your remarks:
"when public transport becomes cheaper and more reliable (maybe I should mention 'safer' and ..."
Despite a few high publicity train crashes, train travel is still far far far safer than car travel. We have become so desensitized to car crashes that they are rarely reported on in the media.
More reliable public transport? But isn't the car also frighteningly unreliable? yes, some days the traffic moves freely on the Embankment, whilst on others the traffic jams are so bad, one is stuck in a car for over half an hour bound for nowhere? So, which is more reliable?
absolutely agree, that trains are safer in that respect. I didn't make myself clear however. I feel that public transport late at night is not particularly safe. Often I feel for lone women who look clearly concerned for their own safety. It makes me feel uncomfortable often, as I might be the reason why this person feels uncomfortable and I try to make some distance between myself and the other person. (It's like walking behind a woman late at night)
BTW. the tube fares are going up ! My car breaks down far less regularly then public transport does. I also feel a little done by, by well-paid people (bringing back nurses, fire-men, police men) who choose to go on strike.
Nick... I also look forward to seeing the congestion charging. I look forward to more buses, but I do hope they go back to the double-deckers however, instead of those double length buses.
Will the council redefine the residential parking zones? what seems to be happening lately in our street is that we have lots of different vehicles parking in the very small allocated area available to residents, then crossing back over new kent road on foot! leaving their vehicles within the boundary avoiding the charge.
I cant say I blame them but many of my neighbours are unhappy about it. At a rough guess I think that many of the cars that try to avoid the congestion charge this way will find their tyres let down or worse!
That is a good point. Where I live there is private parking, but nothing to actually distinguish whether parked cars belong to the residents of the development or not (no permits or anything), and it is just outside the boundary. How are we going to know or stop non residents clogging up our private parking in our close ? I was actually hoping to rent out my parking space as I have no vehicle ! Should I be writing to the council about this ?