Shaun Bailey has been urged by London Conservatives to slash cheap transport for Londoners.
Conservative delegates at his “Manifesto for London” event called for the “hopper” bus fare discount to be scrapped and free travel for pensioners to be slashed.
Other ideas raised at the meeting included extending the tube to “s***hole” parts of London and a new fleet of self-driving buses.
Labour accused the Tories of plotting to make travel more expensive. The Conservatives denied any plans by Bailey to adopt the policies.
LONDON — The Conservatives discussed plans to take free travel away from hundreds of thousands of pensioners and scrap a popular discount on bus travel, at a meeting of London Tories held for their mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey at their party conference in Birmingham this month.
The “Manifesto for London” event was introduced by Bailey, who is standing against Labour’s Sadiq Khan in 2020, and chaired by his Conservative colleague on the London Assembly, Andrew Boff.
Delegates discussed plans to remove free travel from millions of Londoners and extend the Tube to “s***hole” parts of London, plus a striking proposal to introduce a fleet of “autonomous” self-driving buses across the capital.
Among the policy ideas discussed at the event arranged by Conservatives on the London Assembly were:
Raising the Freedom Pass age to 75
Londoners aged 56 and over currently benefit from free travel on the Tube and buses under the Freedom Pass scheme, funded by London councils. However, delegates at the event suggested that the age after which Londoners can qualify for the pass should be raised to 75, with one delegate describing it as a “bribe” for older people.
“The freedom pass was introduced to basically bribe old people and I think quite a lot of 56-75 could probably afford it anyway,” they said. However, other delegates argued that doing so would be hugely unpopular with London voters.
Scrapping the hopper bus fare
When Khan became Mayor of London he introduced a new system by which Londoners are allowed to make unlimited journeys on buses and trams within one hour for the cost of one single fare. However, delegates at the Conservative conference discussed scrapping the so-called “hopper” discount, as “it costs a lot of money.” Other Conservative delegates in the room argued against the move, however, suggesting that Khan’s policy had proved popular with Londoners.
Extend the Tube to ‘s***hole’ parts of London
Another policy put forward by London Conservatives at the event was to extend the London Underground to Thamesmead, a deprived and isolated part of southeast London. One delegate proposing the idea said that it should be done because “Thamesmead is a s***hole so it can’t get any worse anyway.”
However, other delegates in the room disagreed with the policy, with one suggesting that adding another branch to the Jubilee line would cause “chaos” as “there just isn’t the capacity to do it.”
‘Shaun Bailey’s Killer Buses’
One of the stranger ideas raised at the policy forum event was for a fleet of “autonomous” self-driving buses to be rolled out across the capital. This, one Conservative delegate argued, …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics