London commuters let down by Livingstone

Conservatives have accused Ken Livingstone of exploiting Londoners "as his personal piggy bank" after the Mayor announced a big rise in bus and Tube fares. Rush hour bus journeys will go up 20 per cent in the New Year, and Tube passengers also face increases above the rate of inflation, raising an expected £150 million in additional revenue to help plug the huge hole in the Mayor's transport budget.

Commenting on the latest hammer blow to hit public transport users in the capital, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Tim Yeo said: "Yet again Ken Livingstone has been disingenuous with Londoners. He promised during the recent election campaign that there would be no fare increases, but three months later he is going back on his word."

Pointing out that under Labour's Mayor, London has had to face an unending barrage of higher charges, with Council Tax increased to pay for more bureaucracy, and the congestion charge set to be extended despite massive local opposition, Mr Yeo asked: "Where will this cash grabbing exercise end?"

And he declared: "All this extra revenue has brought little in the way of improvement for the travelling public in London. Ken Livingstone needs to stop using Londoners as his personal piggy bank and instead concentrate on making real improvements to their buses and tubes."



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