Ken Livingstone: A Clear Choice on Transport

Election 2008, LondonUnlockedEditor

Ken Livingstone writes in Comment is Free about his transport policies, and how they compare favourably to those of his rivals:

The future of London's Tube system has moved centre stage in the London Mayoral election with Thursday's attack by Boris Johnson on my decision to take the government to court to try to block the partial privatisation of London Underground (the PPP), and Brian Paddick now formally coming out in favour of privatising the running of London Underground.

In actual fact, the article is a thinly-veiled attempt to reinforce the Ken 1, Sian 2 agenda which both he and Sian Berry launched days ago, and which we have covered before. The concluding paragraph of the Mayor's argument is the giveaway:

...Londoners now face a second clear choice on transport at the election for Mayor.

Whilst not mentioning Ms Berry by name, the implication is clear. However, we at LondonUnlocked find the level of debate on this subject disappointing.

  • Brian Paddick's policy for the tube is not one of strict privatisation, but rather follows the sensible (and provenly successful) concession model which Ken Livingstone himself employs on the buses, DLR and London Overground.
  • Boris Johnson's tube policy follows along the lines of better management, stronger contracts, and less risk being placed with the taxpayer. These stances are sound, and are ones which Ken Livingstone himself has come out for in the past.

We are glad that transport is emerging as a key battleground in this election, though it is disappointing that the misrepresentation of his opponent's policies appears to be Ken Livingstone's line of attack.

Little has been said as of yet on issues such as the legacy which the Olympic Games offers London's transport network. We hope that in the coming weeks the candidates will step up and address these concerns, and the wealth of possibilities which they offer.