Ken Livingstone 'to cut London transport fares by 7%'

Ken Livingstone said he would cut London transport fares by 7% if he was elected as mayor.

Last week the current mayor, Boris Johnson, announced prices will rise by an average of 5.6% in 2012.

Mr Livingstone, who is standing against the incumbent mayor in next year's election, had previously promised a 5% fare cut.

The mayor's office said that Mr Livingstone broke promises on fares before the 2004 and 2008 elections.

But Mr Livingstone said: "I will deliver the change that people are calling for, by wiping out his fare rise all together, and going further still.

"I want to use the excess money that is sitting idle in Transport for London's budget to fund a fare cut that will cut the cost of travel for millions of Londoners.

"That's the responsible thing to do in tough times - using the surplus in the transport network to cut the fares."

Mr Johnson had said in September there would be a rise of 7%.

But a £130m grant from the government meant the rise would be lower.

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: "It is the same old Ken Livingstone.

"He promises one thing before an election when he needs Londoners' votes but what he does after is another story."

The spokesman continued: "Before the 2004 mayoral election he repeatedly promised Londoners he would not raise fares above inflation.

'Unnecessary spending'

"But having been voted back in he repeatedly broke his promise, making a series of inflation-busting fare increases.

"Before the 2008 election he promised Londoners he would freeze fares despite having already secretly agreed to above inflation increases - breaking his promise again."

Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick said: "As usual, Ken makes promises to get elected that he breaks once his feet are under the table.

"He's done it before and he'll do it again.

"I promise to cancel all unnecessary spending on vanity projects and cosmetic upgrades, like cable cars and Disney-style tube stations, and plough every penny into keeping fares low."

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