Challenges with Current Pollution Charging System Rob Blackie, the Liberal Democrat candidate for the London mayoral election in the coming year, has voiced concerns about the existing pollution charging system in London. He believes that the current system is too “blunt” and requires refinement. Blackie emphasized the need to allow people more time to adjust to the expanded London-wide Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez).
Improving Targeting and Fairness Blackie aims to propose changes that would make the pollution charging system more targeted and fairer. He cited an example where a nurse driving to a night shift from outside London ends up paying the charge twice, even though they drive during a less harmful time of day. He stressed the need for exemptions in certain situations to address such issues.
Encouraging Environmentally Friendly Behavior While advocating for a fairer system, Blackie also expressed a desire to reduce the number of polluting vehicles on London’s streets. He believes this can be achieved partly by improving transport options in outer London. He pointed out the success of the Ulez in inner London due to better public transport and a longer adaptation period.
Focus on Crime and Police Priorities Blackie’s campaign also centers on addressing crime in London. He criticized Sadiq Khan, the current mayor, for police spending too much time on cannabis-related stop-and-search operations at the expense of dealing with rape cases and sexual offenses. He called the recent decision to ban nitrous oxide an “utterly misplaced priority” that would occupy significant police resources.
Support for Undocumented Londoners Blackie pledged to support undocumented Londoners who have lived in the city for a specified duration and face deportation threats. He proposed the creation of a ‘London passport,’ which would grant legal assistance from City Hall to individuals seeking citizenship through the Home Office.
Commitment to Free School Meals In alignment with Conservative candidate Susan Hall, Blackie expressed support for continuing Mr. Khan’s program of free school meals for a longer period. He praised it as a “fantastic