All bus lanes would be scrapped in London under plans being considered by the Conservative London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith.
Goldsmith told LBC’s Nick Ferrari, that the rise of electric cars means that there will soon be “no point” in having bus lanes.
Only buses, cyclists and black cabs are allowed to use the lanes currently.
However, he said he would first allow electric cars to use the lanes as a perk, before scrapping them altogether
“I can’t see any reason in the short term as a perk, an incentive to get people to buy electric cars, this [allowing electric cars into bus lanes] shouldn’t happen.”
“I think that if I am right and I am absolutely convinced I am, that we are going to see a massive shift in the type of cars people own, then within two or three years there will be no point having bus lanes because everybody is going to be driving these things around.”
Labour’s mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan today attacked Goldsmith’s plans.
“I want to see more people switching to electric cars and I’ll expand London’s network of charging points. But the idea that we’ll be able to scrap bus lanes in the near future isn’t grounded in reality,” he told Politics.co.uk
“Millions of Londoners use buses every day – more than any other form of public transport. We have to make their journeys easier, not harder.”
The Greens’ also savaged the proposals.
“Zac Goldsmith has been pitching himself as a Green Tory but now it seems he wants to abolish bus lanes,” Green party transport spokesperson Caroline Russell told Politics.co.uk.
“Making London’s streets less friendly for buses would be a staggeringly backward step. Scrapping bus lanes… makes no sense. The solution to air pollution and congested streets is to get more public transport, cycling and walking, not to transfer everyone into electric cars.”
The Liberal Democrats described Goldsmith’s comments as an “insult” to bus passengers.
“Zac Goldsmith’s comments are an insult to the millions of people who regularly use London’s buses,” Lib Dem mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon said.
“His policies would inconvenience every bus user as well as cyclists and taxis.
“He has demonstrated a total failure to understand the importance of bus lanes in keeping buses and taxis moving and helping to move huge numbers of people around every corner of the capital. Without them London would face continual gridlock.”
Goldsmith also used his interview with LBC today to attack London’s cycle campaign groups.
“[The cycle] campaign groups are quite hard to deal with,” he told Ferrari.
“Boris is the most cycle friendly politician Britain has even known and he is still savaged every day by the cycling lobby. He is called a murderer and told he has blood on his hands… There is an unreasonableness.”
He also signalled that he would concentrate more on developing so-called ‘cycle quietways’ on London backstreets rather than further developing cycle superhighways.
He said there was an “aggressive” nature to the superhighways, and suggested that quietways would be a less intimidating and cheaper alternative