LondonUnlocked

Mayoral Update: Ken Livingstone's Transport Policies

Editor

Ken Livingstone has announced that should he win the upcoming election he will grant 24 hour free travel to pensioners, reports the Evening Standard:

Mr Livingstone said that if re-elected in May, he would extend the Freedom Pass - which covers London's buses, trams, Tube and rail network.

At present the Freedom Pass only starts at 9am and pensioners' groups have long complained that they cannot get to early medical and other appointments as a result.

The pass, which is not means-tested, provides free travel for all Londoners over 60. Disabled Londoners also qualify for the scheme and more than one million Londoners are eligible.

Mr Livingstone's pledge is a clear signal that he will fight for the capital's "grey vote" as older residents are much more likely to turn out at the election than younger people.

Whilst laudable as an objective, this scheme offers little to London as a whole and is effectively a handout to the grey vote. The money spent on this scheme could easily go towards funding a more viable infrastructure project such as the Thames Cycle Bridge, which this site has covered on numerous occasions in the past, and which would offer genuine benefits to people across the Rotherhithe peninsula, currently hurt by the closure of the East London Line and increasingly busy Jubilee Line.