Zac Goldsmith says he would scrap all bus lanes, and won’t extend cycle superhighways

Give more space to electric cars, says Goldsmith

Zac Goldsmith wants to be mayor of London. But are Londoners ready for his transport plans?

Goldsmith has revealed that his latest take on how to solve the transport problems plaguing London involves letting electric cars drive in bus lanes, to incentivise people to buy them, before scrapping bus lanes entirely.

Bus lanes are currently reserved for buses, taxis, motorcycles and bicycles, and help cut through the congested car parks we optimistically describe as roads.

Speaking to radio station LBC, Goldsmith said: “It is inevitable that the majority of cars, if not all cars will be electric.

“I can’t see any reason in the short term as a perk, an incentive to get people to buy electric cars, why this [allowing electric cars into bus lanes] shouldn’t happen.”

“I think that if I am right and I am absolutely convinced I am, that we are going to see a massive shift in the type of cars people own, then within two or three years there will be no point having bus lanes because everybody is going to be driving these things around.”

Can more cars and less space for buses and bicycles really solve London’s transport problem?

Is it wise to incentivise electric car ownership with the promise of bus lane access before whipping away the bus lanes?


London already has too many vehicles on the road, and not enough space for more. According to traffic information company Inrix and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, congestion in London cost the economy $8.5bn (£5.3bn) in 2013, and the costs will rise to $14.5bn (£9.07bn) by 2030.

Goldsmith himself acknowledged this in an interview with London Loves Business, published earlier this month, in which he said: “There’s no way that all these new people coming to London or being born in London are going to be able to drive around London in cars. It’s not possible, there isn’t room. The thing will grind to a standstill. Bikes, public transport, car clubs – all these things are going to be important.”

Cycle Super-sly-ways

In his LBC interview, Goldsmith also railed against London’s cycle campaign groups, who he said were unreasonable.

He said: “[The cycle] campaign groups are quite hard to deal with.

“Boris is the most cycle friendly politician Britain has even known and he is still savaged every day by the cycling lobby. He is called a murderer and told he has blood on his hands… There is an unreasonableness.”

He also said he would prefer to further develop London’s “cycle quietways”, rather than continue to build on Boris’s Cycle Superhighways, which, Goldsmith said, had an “aggressive” nature.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • So, Zac shows his true colours finally? Or is this an appeal to Tory voter car drivers. One wonders what he really believes and what is political vote gaining now. And are electric cars any less polluting once the electricity generation is taken into account? Sensible to replace diesel and petrol for electric for sure within cities, but public service vehicles can be electric too, and carry massively more per mile of road space, which we will never have enough of. Electric cars and especially small ones, as individual transport 'pods' may be the future in suburbs/out of town, but in a major rapidly expanding city like London, reducing both economically damaging congestion and the resultant health damaging pollution needs some serious planning and forward thinking, which it appears Zac does not have. May I suggest he takes some lessons on transport policy from Christian Wolmar, or even employ him as his transport guru.

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  • @derek small: Why not simply elect Mr. Wolmar as Mayor of London in the first place. Some of Goldsmith's ideas are just plain dumb; I haven't seen the same stupidity in any of Wolmar's positions.

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  • What a dunce! Does this man know what he's talking about. Just because he comes from the lofty heights of Richmond's high society doesn't make him any more intelligent. Sister Jemima would make a better candidate. Sorry but there are just too many cars in London electric or non-electric the place is congested. what he should be advocating is for more bicycles, electric trams etc. For instance central London could benefit from it's own tram network with stops at all the key major London entry points such as Waterloo, Vauxhall, King Cross/St Pancras, Marylebone, Paddington, Euston, London Bridge, Victoria and Liverpool Street, Charing Cross. Black Friars and Cannon St.This should cut down the numbers of buses and taxis and even cars in central London and ease pressure on the tube.

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