In a city the size of London an efficient transport system is essential to the quality of life – getting people to and from work and to allowing them to enjoy all of the things the capital has to offer.
Ken’s full programme for transport in London for a new Mayoral term will be set out here over the next few weeks.
A combination of rapid growth of population and jobs, no city government, the illusion that the market alone could solve all of London’s problems and lack of investment in public transport over many decades had created a crisis in London’s transport system when Ken Livingstone was first elected Mayor.
London is now seeing the biggest public transport investment programme in half a century, with major improvements in the quality and capacity of the bus system already in place, and major projects to enhance and improve the Tube and rail network underway.
This has been achieved whilst holding down fares as low as possible and with radical
concessionary fares schemes – such as the abolition of bus and tram fares for all under-18s in full-time education, and half price bus and tram journeys for people on income support.
If re-elected, Ken will continue investing to transform London’s transport system – continue improving bus services, modernise the Tube, build Crossrail and improve London rail services through London Overground to raise service and safety standards, while holding down fares.
He will introduce 24 hour operation of the Freedom Pass – giving older and disabled Londoners free travel before 9am and throughout the day. He will extend the student travel discount to Oyster One Day Travelcards; and maintain free travel for under-18s on the buses.
He will alter the congestion charge, introducing a £25 a day congestion zone charge on gas guzzlers and abolish charges for the greenest cars.
The policies Ken will follow if re-elected build upon eight years of solid achievement in starting to turnaround what was a crisis in London’s transport system:
- £600m extra per year invested in more reliable, better buses with greater frequency and more routes, leading to an extra 2 million passengers a day
- 90% of all London’s households are now within 400 metres of a bus service.
- The night bus network has been doubled, from 57 routes in 2000 to 100 routes from 2006
- London’s 8,000 buses are modern, low floor and wheelchair-accessible
- All buses are now fitted with CCTV to improve safety
- A £1bn a year Tube investment programme is underway after two decades of neglect.
- More than 30 London Underground stations have been refurbished and renovated
- Secured the funding and agreement to build Crossrail, a new east-west underground line linking Heathrow, through Paddington, to Liverpool Street, Stratford and further east
- Congestion charge continues to reduce traffic levels in central London by over seventy thousand less cars every day and Western Extension successfully introduced in February 2007.
- £32 million has now been invested in London’s suburban mainline rail stations to improve security and safety.
- Oyster Card successfully introduced and 10 million issued
- A seventh carriage added on Jubilee Line and capacity increased
- Average bus fares in London in inflation adjusted terms are actually nine per cent lower than they were in 2000.
- Average Tube fares are only 1.4 per cent higher in real terms after seven years, despite major investment programme
- Provided half price travel on buses and trams for all Londoners on Income Support
- Licensing system for 40,000 mini-cab drivers and cars introduced
- 40 per cent reduction in the numbers of people killed on roads met 5 years early, with number of children killed or seriously injured on London’s roads reduced by 58 per cent
- Cycling levels up by 83% over the past five years; investment increased five-fold
- Half of all schools had an approved School Travel Plan, helping children get to school more safely and tackling school run congestion and pollution
- Major increase in support for door-to-door services for older and disabled Londoners: free fares on Dial-a-Ride and increases in Taxicard funding
- The only major city in the world where there has been a significant shift from the private car to public transport, cycling and walking.