Tuesday 8 June 2010

Ken Livingstone loses the plot

Motorists would be able to use smart technology to find available parking places under plans announced today by Ken Livingstone.

The former mayor said
he would ease parking chaos in London if re-elected by bringing in a system like that used in San Francisco, where 6,000 of the 24,000 metered parking places are fitted with sensors that allow drivers to find spaces via wi-fi.

This is a man who as mayor dismally failed to provide enough cycle parking spaces in London. Now he is trying to out-Boris Boris by sucking up to motorists. Encouraging drivers to look at their mobile phones to find a parking space doesn’t strike me as a very smart policy.

In any case ‘parking chaos’ is a symptom of car dependency. Car parking space should be reduced and made more expensive, to make driving unattractive as a means of travelling around London. But of course that only works if you make other options more attractive, like public transport or cycling. But if you make buses and tubes ludicrously expensive for ordinary people, and fail to supply cycling infrastructure, then naturally people will prefer to use cars.

Not that we need to worry too much about Ken ever implementing this policy. My prediction is that Ken won’t be selected as the next Labour candidate for the mayoralty. And in any case this crackpot policy initiative will be nicked by Boris, who will proudly claim it as his own!