By Alan Fogarty

I went to Greener London Hustings to find out…

It was interesting at the recent Green Alliance’s Greener London Hustings to hear the proposals of four of the candidates for Mayor of London: Sian Berry – Green Party; Zac Goldsmith MP – Conservative Party; Sadiq Khan MP – Labour Party; Caroline Pidgeon – Liberal Democrats. This event gave the four candidates an opportunity to set out their plans and debate the questions on air pollution, energy, transport, climate change and the quality of London’s natural environment.

There was surprisingly little disagreement with each candidate agreeing that air pollution was a serious issue with 10,000 people dying per year as a result. The proposed solutions ranged from electric buses and taxis, more cycling to planting more trees. There were some suggestions around reducing the number of vehicles on the road but no one was bold enough to suggest anything radical.  Many Londoners don’t have cars as they use public transport or cycle.  Car clubs provide the transport for those odd occasions that personal transport is required so why are 10% of the commuting population allowed to clog the transport system?  Imagine a city with quiet, car free streets, clean air, space to walk and sit, able to open windows, safe to cycle and healthier as a result.  If we can see past the negative loss of personal transport, the benefits are enormous not the least huge reductions in CO2 emissions. Will any of the candidates have what it takes to improve our lives and secure the future of the next generation?

You can still watch the livestream here.

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Standard lacklustre remarks on electric vehicles no questioning of which what electric taxis are being proposed no evidence that anyone knows anything about batteries or vehicle design no mention of charging infrastructure. No mention of EV conversion of petrol cars in community workshops as a way of creating a local based sustainable economy. No mention of pitching for TESLA, PANASONIC, LG, or anyone who build local battery plants for vehicles and renewable energy storage. No mention of Norway and The Netherlands working on a cut-off date for the sale of any new petrol & diesel cars. No mention of the forthcoming TESLA MODEL 3 and hopefully finally a NISSAN LEAF with credible range. No suggesting the existing TESLA MODEL X crossover SUV in the 6 or 5 seater configuration as a replacement for the Black Cab taxi. No mention of TESLA’s HEPA FILTER the only air filter in any vehicle designed to both remove over 99% of outside toxins from interior cabin air and even protect people in the vehicle from a biochemical terrorist or warfare attack.

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    • Thank you for your response. Only through this kind of discussion and debate are we going to develop a clear message that will allow us to change the status quo. The main points that I raised are traffic and air pollution, your response appears to be focused on the latter. My key point is that personal transport is unnecessary in a city with comprehensive public transport. Private vehicles transport less people per square meter of road, compared to buses and trams. In the process they block public transport and slow the movement of people, potentially causing more deaths of cyclists. Clearly you are well informed about the EV industry and as such, may be able to advise on whether EVs are the silver bullet for improved air quality. It has been argued before, that EVs increase air pollution as a result of their heavy batteries producing more dust when the vehicle is breaking, also as a result of greater tyre and road wear. This would be another good reason for banning them.

      Alan Fogarty

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Alan Fogarty, Sustainable Cundall

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