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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ken Livingstone's Transport Manifesto

First
Boris, now Ken Livingstone unveils his Transport plans in the Mayoral Elections.

It's a very, err, sedate policy unlike Boris's headline grabbing pledges of last week. And to be honest, I like it for that. I'm not going to spend too long outlining the policies and you can read them here.

Key for me is that Ken actually uses the Tube and not just for spin doctoring photo shoots. I've seen him on it. Other people have seen him on it.

Ken at Finchley Road taken by Toby Bryans

He said "One of the advantages of using public transport every day myself is that I see the transport system as Londoners experience it. This is why ...I have been committed to better public transport for Londoners and why as Mayor; I have devoted so much time and energy to getting the transport improvements Londoners expect."

In a nutshell his plans are to:
• Take over the operation of the Southern trains franchise to complete his plan for an overground rail orbital by linking the extended East London line to Clapham junction via West Croydon; This will extend the Oyster card to suburban overground railways.

• Have a single bus route down Oxford Street and, after 2012, a tram for shoppers;

• Give injured Army veterans free travel;

• Have a major investment in clean vehicle technology by putting 500 hybrid buses on the streets by 2010 and all new buses being hybrid by 2012 at the latest;

• Double the number of countdown signs at bus stops to 4,000 with a new state-of-the-art GPS tracking system and

• Introduce a new congestion charge system so drivers can have payments automatically debited when entering the charging zone, avoiding fines.

Ken's Transport Manifesto

A comment feature in the Evening Standard said "Mr Livingstone's record on transport is solid - but his best ideas came early on. He was right to fight Gordon Brown on his disastrous PPP plans for the Tube, and his plan for Transport for London to take over the work of the failed Metronet consortium is probably now the least-bad solution...."

"Mr Livingstone's manifesto is thus a promise of more of the same. With London's traffic slowly seizing up, and little visible improvement to the Tube and suburban rail, that may not be a thrilling prospect. But to date, none of his main rivals have offered any serious alternative."

So is it better the devil you know with Ken? Look forward to seeing your comments.


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