Liberal Democrat Mayoral candidate Brian Paddick yesterday unveiled his transport polices for the capital which include abandoning the £25 a day congestion charge for ‘gas guzzlers’ and scrapping the zone’s western extension and the newly introduced Low Emission Zone.
Mr Paddick has also suggested allowing “pre-pay Oystercards to be used for unlimited bus journeys within an hour so people can change buses with no additional charge.”
Paddick said “buses often terminate short of their destination because they are running late which results in Oystercard users having to pay twice. I will introduce a scheme where people can travel on an unlimited number of buses within an hour.”
However the claim that journeys are curtailed early has been disputed by the capital’s transport authority. A spokesperson for Transport for London told MayorWatch that 97.5% of bus journeys in the capital take place as scheduled and that curtailments account for only a “tiny percent of the remaining 2.5%” and are often caused by issues outside TfL’s control.
Other promises include one dedicated ‘women friendly’ carriage, on every tube from 9pm till closing time 7 days a week and a vow to run the Tube on the model of award winning and successful concession model along the lines of the DLR.
This suggestion has drawn criticism from his opponents in May’s election. Current Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone accused Mr Paddick of “competing with Boris Johnson by calling for the entire London Underground to be privatised – which would create the same chaos, exorbitant fares and safety problems which followed the Tory government’s privatisation of the railways. This is a new and far worse PPP – Paddick’s privatisation plan.”
There were also promises to introduce a cycling scheme “similar to the one in Paris” and to promote walking – similar plans have been announced by Mr Johnson and Mayor Livingstone.