With just over a month left before Londoners pick a new Mayor, Labour candidate Sadiq Khan has told voters they face a choice between his fares freeze and a “17 per cent” increase under Tory rival Zac Goldsmith.
Mr Khan’s pledge to freeze fares for the full mayoral term has been the campaign’s highest profile offer to voters, but rivals have questioned his ability to deliver.
Citing internal Transport for London figures, Mr Goldsmith, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon and Green candidate Sian Berry say the pledge would cost £1.9bn and claim this would rob TfL of funds for vital upgrades.
Mr Khan disputes these claims although, despite having previously given the sum of £450m, he recently declined to answer questions from ITV on the cost of delivering his pledge.
Despite not naming a price the Labour candidate, who is currently leading the polls, says he can fund the freeze by clamping down on waste within TfL and establishing a commercial arm to bid for contracts.
Mr Goldsmith has previously spoken of “protecting investment” in TfL which he says would be “put at risk” by the Labour pledge but failed to answer when asked by journalists to confirm that meant fares would rise under his mayoralty.
Today Mr Khan said “Londoners face a crystal clear choice on fares” between his freeze and “a 17 per cent rise under Zac Goldsmith” which Labour say would cost “up to £1,000 more” over four year term.
Mr Khan made his comments as he unveiled a new campaign poster which will be displayed across the capital in the run up to polling day.
Londoners will elect a new Mayor and the 25 members of the London Assembly on May 5th. Candidates for Mayor include Conservative Zac Goldsmith, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon, the Green party’s Sian Berry and UKIP’s Peter Whittle.