With only 90 days remaining to win the fight and re-elect Boris Johnson as Mayor of London, the transport system, and the efficiency of the Tube network in particular will prove to be a huge factor for voters going to the polls on May 3rd.
As in any election, it is sometimes difficult to make an informed judgment given the misinformation pushed from political operatives. Indeed, as Churchill so aptly observed, “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
Ken Livingstone’s campaign has been making spurious charges against Boris’ record on a host of issues, with attacks on policies to combat a creaking Tube network at the top of their agenda. Thankfully, there are a growing number in the media who are calling Ken out for his false charges, and FactCheck from Channel 4 News is just the objective analysis which will prove to be such a thorn in Red Ken’s side as May approaches.
The latest in a long list of inaccuracies propagated by the Livingstone campaign has been to release patently false literature accusing the Mayor of undermining and failing Londoners with poor stewardship of the Tube network.
But would it surprise you to know that under Boris:
· Less stations have been closed for longer than 15 minutes;
· Less journeys have been delayed for longer than 15 minutes;
· Journey times have been reduced; and most dramatically
· Lost passenger hours have reduced by more than a million a month.
Yes, we are living in very difficult economic times, but since 2008, Boris has:
· Fought for and secured the biggest upgrade of the Tube network on record, which will increase capacity of the Underground by 30% and reliability;
· Started to build Crossrail and has ensured it will be delivered in full, after years of inaction under the previous administration. On completion, Crossrail will add 10% capacity to London’s transport infrastructure, giving Londoners more reliable and comfortable journeys;
· Delivered the extension to the London Overground, ahead of schedule and on budget; and
· Begun rolling out 191 air-conditioned carriages on the Metropolitan line and by 2015, all 191 will be in use on the Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City, District and Circle lines.
The challenges facing London are great, but with Boris as Mayor we have a huge opportunity to take this city forward – to deliver the Tube upgrades, and Crossrail, and other vital transport investment.