The London Assembly Transport Committee has published a report, The Future of Road Congestion in London. The Conservatives dissented from the majority view on Road User Charging, saying (appendix 2),
There is no occasion when a large London-wide road user charging scheme should be introduced. Any introduction of a road user charging system should be limited to small, local schemes which have the support of local people.
A hands-up survey at the recent Lambeth Community Forum concerning the Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Battersea Opportunity Area showed massive support for making Vauxhall a more pleasant place for people to live. Local residents want the volume of motor traffic to be reduced and the Vauxhall Gyratory and its sprawl of motorway-style lanes tamed.
Instead they want Vauxhall to be a place where it is enjoyable to stroll and ride, with outdoor cafes in fresh air and streets returned to two-way working. Transport for London consider this achievable by cutting a third of the existing traffic.
So, a wonderful opportunity exists for the Conservative Mayor of London to have a local vote on a small, local scheme: to charge motorists choosing to use the Vauxhall Gyratory a sum sufficient to deter a third of them, with the income contributing to the replacement of the gyratory with a more liveable streetscape.
It'll meet the 'localism' agenda of the government, endorsed by the Conservative Assembly Members within London, while meeting the desire to remove the gyratory expressed by Lambeth Council, local Assembly Members and the locals.
Win-Win! Who arranges the vote?