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Ex-Mayor Livingstone Mayor Johnson

London transport week – more kidology from Livingstone

The contrast this week between the transport manifestos of Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone was quite stark. On Monday Johnson produced a crunchy list of practical transport measures that build on his solid record of achievement in the transport realm.

Today it was Livingstone’s turn. He surprised many by taking a mild approach to drivers: no rise in congestion charge, no Western Extension and no £25 gas guzzler charge. We have had almost four years of friends of Ken telling us that millions could be raised by these charges. No more.

The centre piece of Livingstone’s plans are his 7% fares cut, now rebranded as a “travel voucher”. The photo is taken from this ITV piece.

Livingstone is taking people for a ride. His fares sums simply don’t add up. He says that they will cost 3% of £9 billion London’s transport budget. That is £270 million per annum. Or £1.08 billion over 4 years. At the same time he is saying that: “He will make the average Londoner £1000 better off over four years.” The population of London is about 7.8 million. At £1,000 each that is £7.8 billion.

Livingstone’s pledge only applies to 1 in 8 Londoners. Or his pledge is only worth 1/8th of what he says. Either way it is nonsense. You choose.