Sadiq Khan called a “Modern day Dick Turpin” as he faces legal challenge over Congestion Charge hike
Updated: Jul 17, 2020
FairFuelUK (FFUK) and the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) are preparing a legal challenge against the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Transport for London’s (TfL) decision to increase the capital’s Congestion Charge (CC).
FairFuelUK is a public affairs team who say they have no shareholders to satisfy, just an award-winning campaign representing the real concerns of hard-working motorists, families, small businesses, commercial drivers and hauliers across the UK.
FairFuelUK is fronted by TV Motoring Journalist Quentin Willson and the Campaign's Founder Howard Cox. Funding is through support from key founding backers the FTA, RHA and regular donations from supporters. Previous backers have included the RAC, Association of Pallet Networks, UKLPG and others.
Since the slow easing of lockdown in London, motorists saw the daily CC increase from £11.50 to £15, with operating hours extended to cover the hours of 07:00 to 22:00, seven days a week. Previous charging hours ran from 07:00 to 18:00 Monday-Friday.
This meant the CC was reintroduced at an increased rate of 31% - a decision labelled as “financial khanage“ by ABD Director, Paul Biggs.
The two campaign groups have teamed up to take on the capital’s transport authority and the Mayor of London on the following issues related to the C-Charge:
FFUK and ABD have through their Lawyers at Black Antelope delivered a LETTER BEFORE CLAIM / PRE-ACTION PROTOCOL FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW to Greater London Authority and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
This is a Pre-Action Protocol Letter against the decision of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (“the Mayor”) taken on 15 June 2020 to temporarily and exceptionally vary the Congestion Charge (“CC”) with effect from 22 June 2020 until further notice (“the Decision”). Specifically, the Mayor has taken the decision to:
Increase the C-Charge to £15 per day from £11.50 (a 31% increase);
Extend the operating hours of the CC from 07:00 to 22:00 every day from 7:00 to 18:00 Monday-Friday (an increase of 68 hours per week);
Close the residents’ discount to new applicants from 1 August 2020 on the basis that it will act as a deterrent on car ownership in Central London.
Founder of the FairFuelUK Campaign, Howard Cox, said: “He only consults with his supportive stakeholders behind so called ‘exceptional circumstances’ to hit motorists unnecessarily and even harder in the pocket. He encourages us to drive during the Covid crisis, then with no supportive evidence to do so, he plucks a number, out of nowhere, to massively hike the C-Charge. And without any proof, he also increases the charging period to cover weekends, plus extending his additional cash grab through to 10pm every day.
“This modern day Dick Turpin, a debt-ridden anti-driver political opportunist, has divided the capital with his recurrent ‘pay to congest and pollute’ policies. He then blames the Government for doing all of this. Surely, he cannot sink any lower with such bigoted political deceit? In this time of worry for all of us, why did the Mayor not consider, taxing river, air traffic, construction machinery or other sources of pollution? Surely these are more competent and fairer ways to raise the cash to fill his fiscal black hole without screwing drivers at every opportunity.” Director of the Alliance of British Drivers, Paul Biggs, added: “Enough is enough. The financial ‘Khanage’ in London inflicted by the 30% C-Charge increase extended to 7 days at a time of great economic hardship for many people, the country and our capital must be challenged. The Mayor is riding roughshod over every motorist, who has no choice but to drive."
The FFUK ran a poll asking road users whether they supported legal action against the Mayor and TfL. Here’s what a spokesperson for the company had to say:
“The divide between cyclists and drivers consciously created by Sadiq Khan is as wide as the Grand Canyon. FairFuelUK’s latest road user survey (see summary tables at the bottom of this release) shows this massive chasm the Mayor of London has intentionally built. “It is time someone challenged Khan on behalf of UK drivers and all road users. Here is a summary of FFUK's Survey. 25,769 responses between July 8th and July 12th:
91.3% of cyclists are against FFUK/ABD taking legal action
80.9% of drivers support FFUK/ABD taking legal action."