Ken Livingstone has upped the ante in the battle for mayor by pledging to reduce tube, rail and bus fares by five per cent.
The mayoral candidate made his pledge from the Labour Party Conference on Monday, claiming he could save the average Londoner approximately £800 over the next four years.
He described Boris Johnson’s plans to raise fares by up to eight per cent next year as “breath-taking stupidity”.
Livingstone is proposing instead a fares freeze in 2013 and no rises above the rate of inflation from 2014 onwards.
Mayor Boris Johnson is increasing tube fares by up to eight per cent to finance improvements to London’s transport network – though the fares are a sore point for many Londoners.
Livingstone told the Evening Standard: “Boris doesn’t do detail. He should have kept fares down. When things are tight you want to keep the surplus to a minimum.
“There is no justification for [Transport for London] having a £728 million operating surplus.
“If Boris had an idea about this operating surplus he most probably would not have raised fares. You’d have to be breathtakingly stupid to do that. I’m drawing a line in the sand.”
Livingstone claimed he will finance his fares initiative from TfL’s operating surplus.
TfL an additional £275m in the past year from advertising, rent and fares, and spent £453m less on running the network that budgeted for.