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Boris backtracks on road pricing plans

London mayor Boris Johnson this week appeared to contradict his own transport strategy by vowing to reject plans for road pricing schemes.

Johnson told the London Assembly’s transport committee on Tuesday that road user charging would “cost a fortune”, was not in his budget plan and that he would not be bringing it in over the next few years.

Yet his own transport vision for the next 20 years, published last week, suggested that road pricing was being considered.

Party contradictions

The Mayor’s Transport Strategy stated that road user charging can cut traffic congestion and CO2 emissions. “The mayor may consider road user charging schemes if other measures at the mayor’s disposal are deemed insufficient to meet the strategy’s objectives and where there is a reasonable balance between the objectives of any scheme and its costs and other impacts,” it says. But Johnson told the committee “I will work to make road pricing unattractive to my successor.”

Johnson’s comments appear to contradict fellow Conservative and shadow construction minister Mark Prisk’s plans to use tolls to generate revenue streams.

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