Earlier this week, Dave Hill decided to stick his neck out and wager a tenner that Mayor of London Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson would increase the city’s Congestion Charge from eight quid a day to ten. By yesterday, following Mayor’s Question Time (MQT), Hill was sufficiently convinced that the increase was imminent that he was volunteering a variety of goods as parts of an enhanced wager offer.
And so it came to pass: the C-Charge is indeed increasing to a tenner a day, but it isn’t the only price hike. Tube fares are also rising, by just under 4%, but it’s the 12.7% rise in bus fares that has started the ruckus. And the seven day bus pass will go up by a shade over 20%. There has been a predictable amount of Ken bashing by the Johnson administration to try and deflect blame.
And one item in the announcement hints at a possible, but so far strenuously denied, about turn: Johnson is said to be “minded” to carry on with abandoning the western extension to the C-Charge zone, which was a manifesto commitment. If he has to make the U-turn, it’s likely to come at a time not unadjacent to the next General Election.