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Judging the Mayoral candidates’ transport plans

Responding to transport announcements from Mayoral candidates Sian Berry and Brian Paddick, a London First spokesman said:

“London’s business community will judge all the Mayoral candidates’ transport plans against three critical areas:

Congestion – will they tackle traffic jams effectively?

Tube – will they ensure that sustained investment results in more capacity and better reliability?

Airports – will they ensure that London’ success as a centre for world trade isn’t jeopardised by inadequate and poor quality airport provision?

“Sian Berry is correct that, in the medium term, sophisticated road pricing where drivers pay for their contribution to congestion, will help avoid gridlock in the capital. But while 20 mph may be right for residential streets, our focus should be on increasing central London traffic speeds above single figures, which will make bus journeys and local deliveries more efficient. That might reduce the almost 8 million tonnes of CO2 emitted by road vehicles each year in London.

Taking 20p off tube fares would be worth less than a packet of crisps a day to tube commuters but would drive a multi-million pound hole in TfL’s investment programme, condemning us all to more delays and crammed carriages.

“And as for airports: we can’t return to mediaeval ox-drawn carriages to service London’s 21st century economy. A failure to support our airports would cost many tens of thousands of jobs for Londoners.”

Public transport safety is high amongst London’s business concerns, and we welcome the fact that it figures so highly in Brian Paddick’s policies, as in Boris Johnson’s.

Having uniformed patrol on a handful of the most dangerous bus routes is a good suggestion, but we urge all candidates to accept that crime and threatening behaviour on our buses is a widespread concern and should be rolled out beyond a handful of routes.”

“London First has consistently expressed serious doubts on the effectiveness of the Western extension to the Congestion Charge and the Low Emissions Zone in tackling central London’s chronic traffic congestion problem. The recent changes to the congestion charge, making it free for thousands of small cars won’t help either.”

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