Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
9 June 2015

I’m backing Sadiq Khan to get a fair deal for London’s commuters

Helping the city's commuters is one of the biggest jobs of London's Mayor - and I should know.

By Ken Livingstone

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. 

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy