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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Ken can't be trusted on transport

During a mayoral debate on LBC Radio this morning. The congestion charge came up early on. Where Mr Livingstone claimed he wouldn't introduce a £25 congestion charge. But only last year Mr Livingstone he would introduce a £25 congestion charge. Quoted here Mr Livingstone said "Oh yes the £25 charge for gas guzzlers we’ll be straight back for that because we now know that at least 4000 people die a year prematurely because of our poor air quality"

Staying with the congestion charge he stated that he wouldn't extend the Western Extension Zone but he promised the Labour party he would. ‘I will reintroduce the Western Extension of the congestion charge’. So was Mr Livingstone lying to his party faithful or Londoners as both statements can't be true?

He was busy on the congestion charge as he claimed there would be no increases at all, does that sound familiar as he said it in 2003 too. He at the time said the Congestion Charge would not be increased for ten years. However, just two years later in 2005 he increased it by 60 per cent, from £5 to £8 in 2005. The problem for Ken is also his pact with Jenny Jones the Green Party candidate. He has said "if I am elected, Jenny Jones will be a key part in my administration".

So Mr Livingstone promises he wont put up the congestion charge but someone who will be a "key part" of his administration does. In fact she wants "pay as you go for drivers" which the Green party claim would raise £1bn a year. This new scheme however wouldn't be looked at for three years up until then Jenny Jones wants to see a new congestion charge of £15 for smaller cars and £40 for larger family cars.

As we all know Ken Livingstone is offering a "fare deal" where he wants to cut fares by 7% and to do this he claimed today will cost £269m over four years. Now it didn't to take to much to prove this to be untrue as Mr Livingstone's own fare deal document shows they guestimate the cost for the first year alone at £269m.

He also claims that his fare deal can be paid for by a surplus in Transport for London. The only problem is that Ken keeps changing the amount of that surplus first of all he claimed it was £729m then December 5th 2011 he said the surplus was £206m. On February 2nd 2012 he said the surplus was £338m. In March he said the surplus was £727m and this morning on LBC he said the surplus was £830m.

Interestingly he said while mayor "surpluses are used to fund investment...and anyone who wants to cut fares must say what will be cut to fund it". Channel4's Fact Check confirm that Mr Livingstone would have to cut the transport investment programme by £1.12bn. at a time when London transport needs investment.

Whether the TFL surplus, the congestion charge, the western extention. Ken makes it up as it goes along. Public transport is to important an issue for Ken to make false promises about it.He's broken his promises in the past and Boris Johnson has sorted many of the issuea that he inherited out. London's public transport system is working - don't let Ken wreck it again.