More than half of Londoners – 51 per cent – consider that, overall, Sadiq Khan has been a “good Mayor for London” compared with 23 per cent who think he’s been a “bad” one and 19 per cent who think neither, according to a new opinion poll from Redfield & Wilton.
The poll, whose questions On London writers contributed to drafting, also found that Khan, by a narrow margin, is thought by the largest number of Londoners to have been the city’s best Mayor so far, with 29 per cent holding that view compared with 28 per cent who think Boris Johnson has been the best, and 24 per cent who think Ken Livingstone has.
Forty-three per cent of the sample of 1,100 adult Londoners said Johnson had been a good Mayor and 30 per cent said he’d been a bad one, and 41 per cent said Livingstone had been good and 15 per cent, bad.
The poll also asked a series of questions about transport issues.
Ultra-Low Emission Zone
Asked about Mayor Khan’s plan to expand London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to the entirely of Greater London on 29 August, 47 per cent said they either “strongly support” it (18 per cent) or “support” it (29 per cent), compared with 32 per cent who either oppose it (12 per cent) or “strongly oppose” it (20 per cent).
However, asked a separate question about the ULEZ expansion plan, 37 per cent said they would prefer the ULEZ to be “kept to its current inner London boundaries” while 32 per cent would prefer it to be “expanded to include the entirety of London” and 22 per cent said they would like it to be “scrapped entirely”. Opposition to ULEZ expansion was higher in outer London than in inner London in the case of both questions about the issue.
Redfield & Wilton also found that 58 per cent think the purpose of the ULEZ is to “reduce air pollution” compared with 26 per cent who think it is to raise money and eight per cent who think it is to persuade people to buy newer cars. In addition, 52 per cent believe the introduction of the ULEZ has “reduced the level of air pollution and improved air quality in the city” while 36 per cent are more inclined to think it has made no difference.
Respondents were also asked if they would support or oppose “the expansion of the Congestion Charge zone to include the entirety of inner London”. An overall 45 per cent said they would “support” (27 per cent) or “strongly support” (18 per cent) such an expansion, and an overall 35 per cent said they would either “oppose” (14 per cent) or “strongly oppose” one (21 per cent).
The poll also found substantial backing among Londoners for the idea of a “pay-per-mile model” of road-user charging system – one which varied according to the time of day and availability of public transport – replacing vehicle excise duty (car tax). Forty-six per cent said they would “support” (27 per cent) or “strongly support” (19 per cent) such a change, against 23 per cent who would “oppose” (11 per cent) or “strongly oppose” it (12 per cent). Twenty-four per cent said neither.
Pedestrianisation of central London
Asked if they would support the pedestrianisation of “the entirety of central London”, 53 per cent said they would.
Transport mode priority
A majority of the Londoners asked (60 per cent) want either “more” (36 per cent) or “much more” (24 per cent) priority given to pedestrians on Londons’s streets.
A very similar majority (57 per cent) want either “more” (33 per cent) or “much more” (24 per cent) priority on London’s street for buses.
This compares with an overall 44 per cent wanting more priority for cyclists (32 per cent “more”, 12 per cent “much more”), and 35 per cent wanting more for taxis, 34 per cent wanting more for private cars and 32 per cent wanting more for motorcycles.
Thirty-seven per cent said they think buses should have the highest priority, followed by 21 per cent who think pedestrians should, then private cars (13 per cent), cyclists (12 per cent), taxis (eight per cent), and electric scooters (one per cent).
Public transport fares
There were two questions about public transport fares. Asked to what extent they agreed with the statement “I would be willing to pay higher fares on London public transport (buses, the tube etc) in return for a better standard of service”, a total of 45 per cent either agreed with the statement (27 per cent) or strongly agreed with it (18 per cent), while a total of 30 per cent either disagreed (15 per cent) or did so strongly (15 per cent).
There was strong majority support at 67 per cent for the idea, backed by London business organisations, of lowering London Underground fares on Mondays and Fridays “to encourage workers to go to the office instead of working from home on those days”.
Another headline finding from the poll was that 48 per cent of Londoners have a positive view of the Metropolitan Police compared with 27 per cent who have a negative one. There were other questions about the Met, and also several other issues. These will be covered in separate articles.
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