Monday 24 January 2011

The cycling mayor – latest news

Koy Thomson, until recently the CEO of the London Cycling Campaign, was widely admired for his shrewd grasp of cycling diplomacy and cycle campaign skills. Thomson looked forward enthusiastically to an administration run by David Cameron, 'a cycling prime minister', and a capital city under the control of Boris Johnson, 'a cycling mayor'. According to Thomson, with Cameron and Johnson in charge, something called 'the Copenhagen effect' was inevitable.

Yes, hasn't this all worked out wonderfully for cycling?

And here's the latest intervention by London's cycling-friendly mayor:

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, the Mayor of London became the most senior Tory to date to demand a cut in motoring taxes.

“If I were the government, I would think seriously about that fuel duty stabiliser, because when it costs more to fill your tank than to fly to Rome, something is seriously wrong,” he wrote.

[It is, Boris. The failure to tax airline fuel is a scandal which shows how hollow commitments to combating global warming really are.]

As Mayor, Mr Johnson is investing heavily in charging points for electric cars.

[A totally bogus solution which is not remotely ‘Green’]

But their introduction is some way off, leaving drivers to bear the cost of what he described as an “overpriced lagoon of fossil fuel”.

The intervention from Mr Johnson, who has long been considered a rival to Mr Cameron, came as Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary, sought to reassure motorists by insisting that the stabiliser was still on the Government’s agenda.

Speaking on Sky News, he said that officials were examining whether the extra cash raised from Petroleum Revenue Tax on North Sea production could be used to cut the tax paid by motorists. At the same time ministers are looking at concessions to placate hauliers including a discount at the pumps or a cut in the cost of a tax disc.

But the prospect of offering concessions to hauliers – such as a fuel discount, drew an angry response from motoring organisations.