I know better than most that running a city is all about choices – choices you make based on your values. And there are few more important choices facing the next Mayor of London than whether to increase or reduce the cost of commuting. I believe that Londoners desperately need fares to be more affordable – and that’s why I’m backing Sadiq Khan to be the next Mayor of London.
Sadiq has a comprehensive plan to make commuting more affordable. He will freeze TfL Underground, DLR and Overground fares, and the Mayor’s Cycle Hire scheme charges, for the full four years of his Mayoral term. He will cut bus fares and change the way ticketing works so that a single journey ticket is valid for a full hour, including any changes you need to make. He would push for TfL to take on more London commuter rail services – bringing the lower fares, better value for money, greater integration of transport services in London. And crucially, he would continue to support the growth of both Oyster and contactless payment card methods and ensure fare structures remain equal so that no-one is disadvantaged by choosing either payment method.
As a former Mayor, I know this plan is practical. TFL must respond to the Mayor’s priorities. They haven’t had to make the efficiencies that most of the public sector have made over the last five years. If the Mayor says fares must be frozen, TFL can afford to do it.
After housing, commuting is one of the biggest costs for most Londoners. If fares are too high it makes life worse for all Londoners. Those who are struggling to make ends meet are pushed further into poverty with thousands forced to walk miles just to get to work. For those with a good job, disposable income is reduced, making London a harder city to live in, and almost impossible to bring up a family here. And combined with the housing crisis, high fares are particularly regressive. Londoners are forced to live ever further out of the city so that they can afford their rent, but then they are penalised by high fares just to get to work.
A comprehensive plan to cut the cost of commuting is just one of the reasons I’m backing Sadiq for Mayor. He is absolutely committed to giving Londoners the same opportunities he had when he was growing up – the opportunities that allowed him to go from his council estate to being a successful lawyer and sitting at the cabinet table. I am certain that with Sadiq as Mayor, we can change London for the better.