The Mayor needs to green the bus and taxi fleet

Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson at City Hall and Chair of the Assembly’s Transport Committee, today published a response to the Mayor’s Statement of Intent on transport.

Commenting, Caroline said:
“Londoners are looking for cleaner, greener and cheaper solutions on transport in London. The key transport challenges for London in the next decade really turn on what the Mayor, business and the taxpayer can afford.

“We have to ‘green’ the bus and black cab fleet, whose diesel engines pollute London’s streets. Boris Johnson boasts that by 2011 he will have 356 hybrid buses operating. This is 4.4% of the 8,000 bus fleet. With this rate of progress it will be 2052 before all London buses are clean and green.

“The Mayor can use bulk buying power to create a Londonwide car club scheme which uses only electric and hybrid cars – enabling many more Londoners to give up owning their own cars.

“Encouraging walking and cycling is cheaper and greener – we need much more of central London to be a pavement city where quality of life is better because we can get about safely on foot or by bike. Certainly all our rail stations should have plenty of secure cycle parking and bike hire stations.

“People in outer London are often forced to own and use cars because public transport is inadequate and unsuitable. We should introduce express coaches between town centres and press for longer trains and longer platforms.

“Reducing the need to travel will make London cleaner and greener. This means keeping local services local: keeping post offices, police stations and health provision where people live instead of forcing people to travel long distances.”