10 April 2012

Watch: My Party Election Broadcast

By Boris Johnson

It is an honour to be Mayor of London and in every conversation I have with Londoners I feel a huge sense of responsibility.

Especially now, when times are tough, it is vital that we have a Mayor that works to get the best possible deal for Londoners and this city.

Over the last four years I’ve been getting on with my plan to turn things around because this is the most important job I’ll ever do.

It’s a job that is nobody’s by right. And I’d like to tell you why I am seeking the job again.

As I told those gathered this morning for the official launch of my campaign for re-election, the stakes in this election are high – Britain has been brought to the brink of bankruptcy, and Londoners have been going through some of the toughest times that we can remember.

And the choice on 3rd May is very clear – between lurching back to the high-taxing, discredited and divisive approach of my predecessor, or going forward with four more years of sensible, responsible and cost-effective government in London.

Please take a few minutes and be one of the first to watch my Party Election Broadcast, setting out why I'm seeking the job of Mayor again: http://youtu.be/LmONVlMkCbU

At this critical election vote for me, Boris Johnson, and the Conservatives on Thursday the 3rd of May.

Categories: Campaign Updates, crime, economy, Fighting London's corner, London, quality of life, transport | Tags: 9 point plan, Back boris, Boris johnson, Crime, Investment, London, Peb, Transport

10 April 2012

Boris speech marks official campaign launch

This morning marked the official launch of my campaign for re-election. I delivered a speech to a packed house in Richmond and wanted to share it with you:

Good morning and thanks for coming.

This election is being fought when Britain has been brought to the brink of bankruptcy. When Londoners have been going through some of the toughest times that we can remember and when the choice is between going back to the high tax, high spending creed of a bunch of taxpayer funded, Châteauneuf-du-Pape swilling, Outer London ignoring, car hating, semi-reformed Trotsyisksts and bendy bus fetishists whose approach to Government helped to get this country into this economic mess;

Or going forward with sensible, moderate and cost-effective government that invests in our future. That creates the conditions for business to grow. And that delivers on its promises.

Read More »

Categories: Campaign Updates, crime, economy, Fighting London's corner, housing, jobs and skills, London, Olympics, quality of life, sport, transport, youth | Tags: 9 point plan, Apprenticeships, Boris johnson, Campaign, Crime, Housing, London, Olympics, Transport

05 April 2012

TfL Board Members Dispute Ken's Fares Claims

Today, Transport for London board member and former Minister for Transport in London Steve Norris wrote a letter to the Telegraph disputing Ken Livingstone's claim that he can cut fares without harming investment and services.

Saying that it's time for a "reality check" on Ken's claims, Norris writes that "It is disingenuous to claim that [cutting fares] would not have dire consequences for London’s public transport."

Read the full copy of Norris's letter below, which was originally published in the Telegraph here (scroll halfway down the letters page).

SIR – Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, can fight his own battles, but when I hear my old adversary Ken Livingstone, the Labour mayoral candidate, claiming he could slash fares in London without it having an effect on service levels or investment, it is time for a reality check.

As a former Minister for Transport in London (1992 to 1996) and a member of the Transport for London (TfL) board, I have scrutinised the accounts of London transport for the past 20 years. There is not, nor ever has been, a hidden pot of gold that could fund major fare cuts painlessly. The claim that there is a £727 million surplus to dip into has been comprehensively debunked by Channel 4’s FactCheck.

The cash sitting on TfL’s balance sheet is there to fund Crossrail. To maintain services and planned investment, TfL has taken substantial cost-saving measures, with a significant reduction in its headcount over the past four years.

TfL is a much tighter ship than it was under the previous mayor and every penny it takes in is earmarked to run the system, catch up on decades of under-investment and provide services for London’s rising population. The Mayor, not TfL, sets London’s fares. Cutting them would be a political choice. It is disingenuous to claim that it would not have dire consequences for London’s public transport.

Steve Norris
Conservative London mayoral candidate in 2000 and 2004
London SW1

UPDATE: 6 April 2012

A second Transport for London Board member has written disputing Ken Livingstone's claim that he can cut fares without damaging services or investment.

Read Eva Lindholm's full letter to the Guardian below (scroll to the second letter):

During the current London mayoral campaign, a claim has been made that public transport fares could be cut significantly, and that such a cut would neither trigger a reduction in services nor a cut to TfL's programme of investment, such as upgrading the tube and building Crossrail.

As a member of TfL's board, I would like to underscore that there is no pool of idle surplus funds at TfL that could be used to neutralise the impact of a major fares cut. The claim that there is a £727m surplus that could be used for such a purpose has been disproved by Channel 4's FactCheck. The cash currently lodged on TfL's balance sheet has in fact been raised through Treasury-approved borrowing specifically to pre-fund TfL's contractual commitments to the construction of Crossrail and other budgeted items.

To ensure its ability to finance London's current transport services as well as catch up on decades of underinvestment the system, TfL has implemented a rigorous series of cost-saving measures during the past four years. These measures, which feature a significant headcount reduction, have left no possibility for the accumulation of a large pool of unallocated funds. Therefore no Londoner should be under the impression that fare cuts could be implemented without negative consequences for TfL's finances and for the current and future state of public transport spending in London.

Eva K Lindholm
TfL board member

UPDATE: 9 April 2012

A third Transport for London Board member has now written to dispute the claim made by Ken Livingstone that he can fund a fares cut without putting investment or services at risk.

Read Charles Garnett's full to the Independent below (scroll to the 8th letter):

TfL cannot afford to reduce fares

As a member of the TfL Board for the past five years, I have seen the real benefit that London is starting to get from the long-overdue, significant investment in the Tube, under both Mayors. We cannot afford to put future investment at risk by cutting London's fares, which are set by the Mayor rather than TfL, when there is still so much to be done for the Tube and the recently commenced Crossrail.

The money from fares, in spite of all the recent cost-cutting by the Tube, is essential to help fund the investment London needs. Unfortunately, there are no reserves in TfL's finances that can both cut fares and maintain the Tube investment programme.

Christopher Garnett
London SW15

Categories: Campaign Updates, transport | Tags: Fares, Ken livingstone, Tfl, Transport

26 March 2012

My Transport Manifesto

Today I am launching my transport manifesto. It's a critical part of my 9 point plan for a Greater London.

A world class city should have a world class transport system that is safe, efficient, economical and reliable. A transport system that uses modern technology to meet the changing needs of Londoners and to guarantee long term sustainable lower fares.

Read More »

Categories: Campaign Updates, London, transport | Tags: Boris bikes, Boris johnson, Buses, Congestion, Crossrail, Cycle hire, Freedom pass, Investment, Manifesto, Rail, Roadworks, Suburban rail, Transport, Tube, Unions

16 March 2012

Green light for London lane rental

Boris Johnson has won another battle in his war on disruptive roadworks, as the Department for Transport today confirmed London will be the first city in the UK that can charge utility companies for the amount of time they dig up roads.

The Mayor successfully lobbied Government for the introduction of lane rental as part of his longer-term strategy for improving roadworks management to increase coordination amongst organisations and free the streets from unnecessary disruption.

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Categories: Campaign Updates, economy, London, transport | Tags: Business, Lane rental, Roadworks, Transport

12 March 2012

Keeping Londoners moving

Last week Boris Johnson launched his 9 point plan to secure Greater London's future and he has already started to deliver.

In point 8, the Mayor pledges to reduce Tube delays by an additional 30% by 2015, build Crossrail and an orbital rail to link London's suburbs, as well as extend the Barclays Bike Hire scheme.

Read More »

Categories: Campaign Updates, London, transport | Tags: Barclays cycle hire, Crossrail, Transport, Tube

08 March 2012

Boris: Transport investment must not be put at risk

At the weekend, Boris Johnson set out his 9 point plan to secure Greater London's future.

Speaking today about his vision for transport in London, the Mayor elaborated on Pledge 8 of his 9 point plan - investing in transport.

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Categories: Campaign Updates, London, transport | Tags: 9 point plan, Crossrail, Transport, Tube upgrades

05 March 2012

9 point plan poster launch

Boris Johnson this weekend set out his nine point plan to secure a Greater London, in a speech on Saturday and then at the launch of the poster campaign on Sunday.

1,000 posters will go up across London - from Croydon to Enfield and Hillingdon to Havering. They detail Boris’s determination to end the waste and mismanagement of the previous Mayor to free up money to pay for a strong plan for London’s future.

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Categories: Campaign Updates, crime, economy, environment, Fighting London's corner, housing, jobs and skills, London, Olympics, quality of life, sport, transport, youth | Tags: 9 point plan, Council tax, Cutting waste, Jobs, London, Olympic legacy, Police on the streets, Poster campaign, Transport

24 January 2012

£1 a day to keep Ken away

There are 100 days to go until Londoners head to the polls to vote for their Mayor.

We're in for a tough fight to stop London being taken backwards.

To compete with Ken Livingstone's union funded and controlled campaign, I need your help.

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Categories: Campaign Updates, crime, economy, Fighting London's corner, Get Involved, jobs and skills, London, Olympics, quality of life, sport, transport | Tags: £1 a day, Council tax, Crime, Investment, Jobs, Olympics, Record, Transport, Value for money

10 January 2012

HS2 boost for London

Today, the construction of a high speed rail line between London and Birmingham got the go-ahead, creating new opportunities and bringing fresh investment to areas of west London.

The HS2 project was approved after negotiations between Mayor Boris Johnson and the Government resulted in the decision to build a 2.75-mile tunnel to reduce disruptions for local residents. The tunnel will run from Hammersmith & Fulham to Hillingdon, minimizing disruptions for residents between Old Oak Common and Ruislip.

Read More »

Categories: economy, Fighting London's corner, jobs and skills, London, quality of life, transport | Tags: Crossrail, Economy, Hs2, Jobs, Transport, Tube upgrades

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