Conservative councillors have criticised the Mayor of London’s transport policies and called for a ‘Barnet-focused’ approach to roads and rail.

The Tories claim Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s consultations are focused too heavily on inner London and fail to take account of the needs of boroughs like Barnet – where many people still rely on cars due to fewer public transport connections.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday (October 30), Conservative member for Golders Green Councillor Dean Cohen proposed a motion calling for money from Transport for London’s Local Implementation Plan to be spent on projects that reflect Barnet’s needs.

Cllr Cohen said: “We need policies that work across the whole of Barnet.

“Many of Mayor Khan’s policies are designed only for the boroughs of inner London, with little or no regard to the issues that affect outer boroughs.

“In much of Barnet, our residents need cars to take children to school, to shop, to visit friends and family, because there is less public transport.

“We need a transport policy that recognises the needs of our residents – not just Mayor Khan’s friends in the centre of town.”

Cllr Cohen said the mayor’s transport strategy did not help to raise air quality and asked why the main highways passing through the borough were not in the ultra-low emission zone.

But Conservative members refused to back an amendment by Labour member for East Barnet Cllr Jo Cooper to support a campaign by residents to keep the 384 bus route within New and East Barnet.

Proposed changes to the 384 bus service mean it could stop serving Northfield Road, Crescent Road, East Barnet Road and several other streets.

Cllr Cooper said: “I agree that Barnet does need public transport. The proposals to change the 384 are not the solution to this.

“Many residents have expressed opposition to this, and it affects some of our more vulnerable residents – the elderly, disabled and families with young children.”

She said more than 1,500 people had signed one of three petitions to keep the bus route.

Labour environment spokesman Cllr Alan Schneiderman said the needs of outer London boroughs were already accounted for in the mayor’s plans.

But Alex Prager, Conservative member for West Hendon, said: “Labour’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has failed a great city too often – and once again has done so to the detriment of Barnet’s residents.

“His transport strategy is hopelessly focused on inner London and implements a one-size-fits-all plan.”

Cllr Kath McGuirk, Labour member for West Finchley, accused the Conservative group of politicising the debate.

She said: “We have had 23 mentions of Sadiq Khan from the Tory group.

“You are not interested in improving transport for the people of this borough. Not once have you ever raised issues around changes to the 82/13 bus route.

“We are quite happy to be a critical friend of the mayor, but when the Tory mayor continually changed bus routes in this borough, you did not criticise him.”

Cllr Cohen’s unamended motion was passed at the end of the debate, with the Conservatives voting in favour and Labour members abstaining.