Boris Johnson has been racking up expenses on taxisIn the week that Boris Johnson announced a second successive year of inflation-busting fare rises, his own extravagant taxi expenses have been exposed by the News of the World.
In the week that Boris Johnson announced a second successive year of inflation-busting fare rises, his own extravagant taxi expenses have been exposed by the News of the World.
The paper writes that:
“London mayor Boris Johnson has spent £4,698 of taxpayers’ cash on taxis in ONE YEAR.
“The London mayor’s extravagant travel included £237.50 for a seven-and-a-half mile ride from Islington to Edmonton – at £31 per mile, accounts reveal. He also claimed £99.50 for a return trip from City Hall to Elephant and Castle – a journey that can be cycled in ten minutes. Not to mention £99.75 for a cab from a pub in Westminster to the City”
The reports are consistent with earlier findings. In April, the Evening Standard reported that, “Mr Johnson is racking up over eight times more in fares than his predecessor.” Left Foot Forward asked the Mayor’s press office to justify the claims but have not yet heard back.
Meanwhile, the much awaited 2009 Business Plan, which Transport for London suggest will explain how the congestion charge will raise an extra £60 million from “operational savings” is due out on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the Mayor said:
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“The figures for the current financial year to date show that the Mayor has only claimed for one cab journey.
“Most of the taxis in the previous year were booked in the first few months of the Mayor’s administration when he attended a huge number of events often going to two and three in a row on a tight schedule.
‘The Mayor’s preferred mode of transport is his bike which accounts for the vast majority of his personal and official journeys.
“For greater distances he tries to use public transport. On occasions however taking taxis has been unavoidable. That is very much the exception and the figures show he takes fewer than three taxis a week on average.
“The GLA has one taxi account with a specific firm and is locked into a three year contract agreed by the previous administration.”