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Goldsmith and Khan talk transport fares and capacity

Words: Laura Edgar
London Underground

Conservative’s Zac Goldsmith and Labour’s Sadiq Khan yesterday (30 March) both promised to increase the London Underground network’s capacity as they continued their campaigns to become the Mayor of London.

Goldsmith to increase London Underground capacity and establish Boris Bikes in outer London

Launching his Transport Manifesto in Ilford, Goldsmith pledged to improve the capacity and reliability of London’s transport network by protecting and increasing investment.

He warned that Khan’s transport plans contained a “black hole” and would bring London to a “standstill”.

Goldsmith plans to “protect and deliver” upgrades to the District, Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City, Northern and Jubilee lines.

Additionally, his manifesto states that he would replace “substandard” suburban rail services with a Southern Overground.

The manifesto outlines proposals to work with government to secure funding for Crossrail 2 and extensions to the Sutton Tramlink, Bakerloo Line and London Overground to Barking Riverside.

Goldsmith also said he is committed to delivering and expanding the Night Tube and working with government to “secure the transport links needed to unlock more than 270,000 homes and 250,000 jobs”.

Goldsmith would establish Boris Bikes in outer London boroughs and bike hire would be possible using Oysters Cards.

He said growing London’s transport network is not just vital to keeping London moving, “it’s also key to unlocking the land to build the homes London so badly needs”.

Goldsmith’s Transport Manifesto can be found here.


Khan to freeze rail fares

Speaking in Brixton today, Khan also vowed to build on Transport for London’s (TfL) planned investment programme to increase capacity across the network.

He also said he would “push forward” many schemes that are in the planning stages, ones that need “real leadership from the mayor to move forward”, such as river crossings in East London and Crossrail 2.

But Khan said there is “no point building fantastic new infrastructure, or creating world-class services if Londoners simply can’t afford to use them”.

He accused Goldsmith of making it clear he has “no interest in making TfL more efficient or innovative”, saying the Conservative candidate wants “commuters – working Londoners – to pay more and more in fares every year”.

Khan plans to freeze all TfL fares for four years, introduce a new bus ticket that will see Londoners able to change buses as many times as they need in an hour and only pay one fare, and aims to “wage war on waste, excess and inefficiency within TfL”.

London busTo fund the freeze on fares, Khan said the surplus land owned by TfL could be put to better use, “keeping the freehold while building genuinely affordable homes Londoners need to rent and buy”.

Khan launched A Manifesto For All Londoners in March. More details about it can be found here.

What are the other candidates saying about transport?

Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London Caroline Pidgeon has set out plans for half-price fares for journeys that start by 7.30am.

Half-price fares would be offered on London Underground and Overground, and TFL Rail services.

Pidgeon said: “This would help some of our city’s lowest-paid workers, who often have to work unsocial hours.

“A half-price fare scheme would also help to tackle overcrowding by encouraging some people to start their journeys earlier in the morning.”

According to the Liberal Democrats, this plan builds on Pidgeon’s work to develop a one-hour bus ticket, something the party says has been a “long-standing policy of Caroline Pidgeon and the London Assembly Liberal Democrats”. More on this can be found here.

Green Party candidate Sian Berry is proposing to reduce the fares for outer London and establish fewer zones.

A “simple” four-zone structure would be introduced from January 2017.

Additionally, Berry and the Green Party want to introduce flat fares by 2025. This would mean freezing and cutting outer London fares and allowing other fares to rise with inflation.

She would establish a new ‘one ticket’ to change between all types of public transport rather than paying for each stage of a journey, and introduce a lower rate for daily pay-as-you-go caps to match the savings made on monthly travel cards.

More on Berry’s transport plans can be found here.

Image credits | iStock and Shuttershock